At the heart of the data-based innovation strategy to support the emergence of a sustainable and trustworthy economy, presented by the Ministry of the Economy in the spring of 2019, information and communication technologies can be found on all fronts.
Present transversally in all sectors of activity, ICT is both an essential tool for all types of companies and a powerful lever of activity for IT service providers.
This is why the Luxembourg ICT Cluster has, over the past year, concentrated its efforts on cross-sector events, in order to further strengthen the bridges that can exist between the players.
In addition, it is also, and above all, why its structure and raison d’être have been adapted. Information and communication technologies are therefore no longer considered under the sole prism of a cluster as such, but rather as a facilitator of digitisation, whether for industry or for other sectors.
A public-private link to be promoted
There is no shortage of initiatives, public or private. “But it is important to promote more links between public research and the private sector, so that each party can benefit from the skills and assets of the other,” explains Jean-Paul Hengen, who has swapped his role as cluster manager for a function that is increasingly focused on interconnection between the ICT sector and other sectors of activity.
For the visible part of his activity, this has resulted in the organisation of presentation sessions in collaboration with the Automobility, Creative Industries or CleanTech clusters, but also in the holding of broader events in the areas of HealthTech, intellectual property or industrial manufacturing.
Two other major “collective” events took place during 2019. The first, focused on the creative industries: the “Digital Day“, organised jointly with the Luxembourg Creative Industries Cluster and 2 City of Luxembourg museums, which attracted more than 350 participants.
The second was dedicated to cybersecurity, in collaboration with the HealthTech, Automobility and Materials & Manufacturing clusters, which brought together around 100 people.
On this occasion, the mapping of the ecosystem, carried out with Smile and the Market Intelligence department of Luxinnovation, was presented.
The year 2020 is shaping up to be particularly rich and intense, with the advent, in particular, of two major deployments for our economy: 5G and the European network of HPC supercomputers, coordinated from Luxembourg. “These are two strong pillars of the national digital landscape. They will make it possible to support a large number of concrete applications that are currently being developed and for which we are also supporting the companies concerned. »
Nevertheless. the activity will obviously not be limited to these two issues, however crucial they may be. The year 2020 will also be the first full year for the Luxembourg-Digital Innovation Hub, launched last September. “Industrial digital transformation has become a major issue. With the L-DIH, players, whether service providers or industrial companies engaged in a digitalisation process, can now rely on a dedicated platform to optimise their relations. This concerns not only infrastructure and services, but also talent and resources,” notes Mr Hengen.
The emergence of Industry 4.0 technologies is obviously one of the key components in the development of the data-based economy. It is not the only one and the use of artificial intelligence for better data management and use is another.
“Artificial intelligence and Big Data have become inseparable,” explains Marina Guérin-Jabbour, the head of L-DIH. “More and more operational decisions are guided by artificial intelligence processes. The need for data management will therefore be ever greater. The challenge of the coming years will also be to be able to identify the areas in which artificial intelligence is relevant and brings real competitive added value”.
In this context, the issues of cybersecurity and risk management also take on their full importance. Here too, all players at all levels are concerned. “The implementation of cybersecurity infrastructures and risk management processes should not be considered as a cost, but rather as a competitive advantage,” Jean-Paul Hengen said recently at an event dedicated to this topic.
It is no coincidence that the topic is of great interest to the world of start-ups. They alone represent more than 20% of the cybersecurity ecosystem in Luxembourg and one third of them have this as their main activity. “Whether for cybersecurity or for other areas, it will be important to know how to promote entrepreneurs and start-up developers. Luxembourg has a lot to gain from having an efficient and dynamic start-up ecosystem,” concludes Jean-Paul Hengen.