Luxinnovation was created on 1 June 1984, with the establishment of an “Agency for the Promotion of Innovation” within the Economic Department of the Ministry of the Economy and Small and Medium-sized Businesses. This was followed by a partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Luxembourgish Industrials (now Fedil) to create “a joint promotion service to support innovation”.
Via this path, Luxinnovation, became the first “innovation and research entry point” in Luxembourg. The Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (then responsible for research policy in the public sector, since then taken over by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research) and later the Chamber of Skilled Crafts subsequently joined the partnership.
Creation of the EIG
1998 was a key year in the development of Luxinnovation, which took its own legal form as an economic interest group (EIG).
The agency then expanded even further and was entrusted with the management of the “Cluster initiative”, covering the key sectors of the national economy (Automotive, Eco-innovation, Creative industries, Health, Materials, Wood), all with an increasingly strong ICT cross-sector component. To date, more than 700 companies are grouped together in this Cluster Initiative.
Luxinnovation is also the national contact point for companies wishing to integrate European R&D programmes: a key competence that earned Luxembourg the highest success rate in the European Union in 2018 in the context of calls for funding under the Horizon 2020 framework programme.
In 2016, following the integration of Luxembourg for Business agency, Luxinnovation was assigned additional tasks as part of the reform of Luxembourg’s economic promotion, including identifying foreign investors who would bring real added value to the national economy by consolidating the country’s qualitative development.
In addition, since 2016, there has been a new mission to monitor the economy in sectors and activities likely to create new opportunities for companies already established in Luxembourg and to attract new foreign direct investment.
“Thanks to Luxinnovation, research and development and innovation have evolved in an unparalleled way in Luxembourg and probably even in international comparison over the past three decades,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Étienne Schneider, in his opening speech to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Luxinnovation, before nearly 500 guests.
“Due to its evolution over time and its expanded missions, Luxinnovation is and will remain an essential driver of innovation and economic success in the country.“
Minister for Higher Education and Research Claude Meisch pointed out in his speech that “Luxinnovation has been a central driver to ensure that public research conducted by public research centres and by the University of Luxembourg had a considerable impact on the country’s development economically, socially and environmentally. They will even play a greater role when it comes to build a data-driven knowledge society that we aim to develop in a responsible way by bringing tangible benefits to every citizen.”
“In the coming years, Luxinnovation must inspire our companies to innovate, grow intelligently and be well prepared for the challenges of the future, with new and partly also disruptive technologies,” explains Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation since May 2018. “We want to be more than ever recognised by companies and entrepreneurs as a trusted partner for them, enabling them to find pragmatic solutions for innovative development projects.”
“We have formidable diversified and complementary skills,” adds Mario Grotz, Chairman of the Luxinnovation Management Board. “If we manage to communicate well with each other, to dialogue, to highlight these skills, we will make exceptional progress. Luxembourg promotes networking and the implementation of joint projects in a confined environment. This is an advantage we have over other countries. And Luxinnovation must be an essential link in this collaborative approach.”