R&D collaborations are at the heart of Luxembourg’s research and innovation strategy. Such collaborations are a win-win for both sides: businesses gain access to creative minds, while researchers get the chance to take their research to the next level and see it make an impact.
In order to encourage the emergence of innovative projects, the country offers many public and private grants to finance R&D activities.
Why innovate in Luxembourg?
Luxembourg is ranked the 12th most innovative country in the world according to the IMD World Competitiveness Ranking 2021 and is a strong innovator according to the European Innovation Scoreboard 2021, standing out in attractive research systems, human resources and intellectual assets indicators. These rankings highlight the considerable development of Luxembourg’s research and innovation ecosystem and are an important recognition of the country’s ongoing efforts to develop a world-class R&D landscape.
Support and programmes for startups
The Luxembourg startup ecosystem includes a mix of public and private players that are working alongside entrepreneurs to help them during their startup journey.
Initiatives cover a wide variety of fields, from hands-on advice on the practical aspects of creating a company provided by the House of Entrepreneurship to the coaching and seed funding offered by acceleration programme Fit 4 Start managed by Luxinnovation and assistance with reaching international markets through Catapult or Gener8tor.
Not only do many of Luxembourg’s incubators offer premises to startups, but they also support programmes and provide advice. As part of its efforts to strengthen the competitiveness of the Luxembourgish economy, the government also offers several types of R&D and innovation support measures. Support is available, for instance, for research and development projects or programmes and for process and organisational innovation in services. Growing startups that manage to raise private capital can also apply for aid for young innovative enterprises.
Support and programmes for companies
R&D collaborations are an effective way to stimulate innovation in companies: while facilitating risk-sharing, it offers opportunities to broaden the scope of research and development by giving access to external knowledge and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
A broad range of grants and support measures are available for companies and private research organisations :
- Aid for technical feasibility studies: Businesses and private research institutes which carry out a technical feasibility study prior to a research and development (R&D) project or programme may benefit from financial aid in the form of a subsidy or repayable advance. The aid can cover a percentage of the eligible costs which may vary depending on the size of the business.
- Financial aid for research and development projects (R&D): Financial aid in the form of a subsidy is available for companies and private sector research organisations that carry out research and development (R&D) projects and innovation initiatives. The aid can cover a percentage of the eligible costs, depending on the size of the company and the type of project or programme.
- Aid for process and organisational innovation: Businesses and private research institutes owning projects related to process innovation or organisational innovation may benefit from financial aid in the form of subsidies or repayable advances. The aid can cover a percentage of the eligible costs, depending on the size of the company and the type of project or initiative.
- Investment aid for research infrastructures: Research infrastructures engaging in economic activities may be eligible for financial aid for construction or modernisation in the form of subsidies, repayable advances, interest relief, guarantees or loans. Applications for financial aids are to be submitted to the Ministry of the Economy’s Research and Innovation Directorate.
To facilitate the emergence of projects and support the process of preparing joint projects, Luxinnovation, the national innovation agency, has initiated the setting up of the www.research-collaboration.lu platform. Companies, public research organisations, hospitals and healthcare providers are invited to submit project ideas. Luxinnovation’s role will be to follow up on the ideas, in particular by bringing together public and private partners interested in participating.
The call for projects is planned in two stages, with feedback provided to the consortia at the end of the first stage. Only projects relevant to the objectives of the call will be invited to prepare a full application. Finally, the approved consortia can use the platform for preparing the technical documentation required to submit individual applications to the Ministry of the Economy and the FNR.