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2011 Annual Report Luxinnovation

making innovation happen

2011 Annual Report Luxinnovation

making innovation happen

Presid mes du

chairman’s message 2011 marked the beginning of the second performance contract signed by Luxinnovation, the State, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Trades and Fedil — Business Federation Luxembourg. Based on the outstanding results achieved throughout the 2008–2010 period and as part of its performance contract for 2011–2013, Luxinnovation stepped up its activity with businesses and public research organisations in order to mobilise their innovation potential, particularly in sectors of key importance to Luxembourg’s economy.

dent’s ssage One of Luxinnovation’s most important tasks is to detect and nurture ideas for research, development and innovation. This is the reason why our advisors have intensified their direct interaction with entrepreneurs and researchers as a means of providing a targeted response to their needs.

As the National Agency for Innovation and Research, Luxinnovation in 2011 also emphasised dialogue with the public research organisations and the National Research Fund (Fonds National de la Recherche). In this context, the development of public-private partnerships in projects dedicated to research, development and innovation (RDI), in Luxembourg and across Europe, constitutes a major strand of our activity. Luxinnovation interfaces the various actors involved, be it to build on earlier cooperation or to create new opportunities through collaborative RDI projects. Many challenges remain, but these realignments reveal bright prospects for our country in the area of research and innovation.

In 2011, Luxinnovation devoted particular attention to sectors perceived as crucial for the development of Luxembourg. The concept of personalised coaching for clients fully came to the fore, as the Agency adopted a new sectoral approach integrating the activities of the Clusters. The Luxembourg Cluster Initiative is characterised by governance that directly integrates businesses and public research organisations. Shaped by this specificity, the Clusters are instruments of choice to support joint initiatives and boost their members’ international visibility. Innovation no longer depends solely on the performance of businesses or research laboratories acting in isolation; in fact, innovation today depends on their cooperation. My view, therefore, is simple: to develop optimally, innovation must be shared. This collective vision will enable us to take concerted action in order to address the challenges of the future. Marco WALE NTINY Chairman of the Management Board

con of

Luxinnovation, National Agency for Innovation and Research PAGE

06 2011 in brief PAGE

09 Supporting research and innovation

ntents of PAGE

Strengthening national and international partnerships PAGE


Stimulating innovation PAGE


Promoting innovation and research PAGE

27 Annual accounts PAGE

30 Organisation PAGE


Luxinnovation A.R. Pag. 5>5


Luxinnovation, The National Agency for Innovation and Research

Luxinnovation, The National Agency for Innovation and Research At the heart of the national innovation system Luxinnovation, the National Agency for Innovation and Research, focuses on stimulating the competitiveness of Luxembourg’s economy through research, innovation, creativity and design. The Agency was established in 1984 and constituted as an Economic Interest Grouping (EIG) in 1998 in order to bundle the research and innovation activities of the organisations that form the consortium.

Luxinnovation builds on a strong partnership involving: The Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade The Ministry for Higher Education and Research The Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Tourism The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce The Luxembourg Chamber of Trades Fedil — Business Federation Luxembourg

Multiannual performance contract Luxinnovation and its partner organisations signed the Agency’s first performance contract (2008–2010) as part of a wider drive to ensure sound governance of the national innovation system. Building on the highly satisfactory outcomes of the initial contract, Luxinnovation entered into a second performance contract (2011–2013) and refocused its activities in order to reinforce the innovation potential of businesses and foster collaborative projects at national and international level.

Luxinnovation offers a wide range of integrated and personalised services to businesses of any size, to innovative start-ups and to public research organisations. The Agency’s services are based on a sectoral approach. Luxinnovation’s key strengths lie in the variety of its internal competencies and in the quality of its national and European networks, enabling it to find external resources that meet its clients’ needs. Luxinnovation acts as a facilitator for clients seeking national or European funding, planning to launch an innovative activity, looking for technological expertise or aiming to upgrade their innovation management activities. In keeping with its motto, Luxinnovation, in all its processes and daily operations, is dedicated to Making Innovation Happen! In 2011, the Agency applied itself to proposing efficient services for businesses, start-ups and researchers aiming to launch research, development or innovation projects: National and European funding Start-up support Innovation management, creativity and design Technology transfer and partner search Intellectual property and valorisation of research results Luxembourg Cluster Initiative Promotion of research, development and innovation

MAIN CLIENTS Small, medium-sized and large enterprises Innovative start-ups Public research organisations

PRIORITY AREAS In line with the new sectoral approach adopted by the Agency in 2011, a specific focus was set on priority areas for the future development of Luxembourg’s economy: Life sciences Eco-technologies Information and communication technologies Materials and production technologies Space technologies Young innovative start-ups Skilled crafts

Pages 06>07

Integrated and personalised services


Luxinnovation, The National Agency for Innovation and Research



Information and guidance on suitable funding mechanisms

Access to the Technology Market of the Enterprise Europe Network

Assistance with the preparation of applications and endorsement towards public decision-makers

Identification of potential partners and contact initiation

SUPPORT FOR INNOVATIVE START-UPS Analysis of the innovative idea and of the related business plan and access to national business incubators Assistance with the identification of potential partners and the sourcing of public or private funding INNOVATION MANAGEMENT, CREATIVITY AND DESIGN Comprehensive training programmes (innovation management and intellectual property) Luxembourg Innovation Masterclass Promotion of design and creativity in support of innovation

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND VALORISATION OF RESEARCH RESULTS Awareness-raising activities and guidance on intellectual property Coaching for the socio-economic valorisation of research results LUXEMBOURG CLUSTER INITIATIVE Animation of the BioHealth, EcoInnovation, ICT, Materials and Space Clusters Support for project construction in view of public-private partnerships PROMOTION OF RESEARCH AND INNOVATION “MADE IN LUXEMBOURG” Organisation of conferences and seminars Production of communication tools (brochures, websites, etc.) Management of the Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research ( Publication of the magazine “FOCUS on Research and Innovation in Luxembourg”

2011 in brief national funding applications for projects in the area of research, development and innovation (RDI) or environment and energy submitted to and accepted by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade (including 5 publicprivate collaborations): 58 different businesses involved (of which 60 % were SMEs)

Luxembourg participations in EU programmes, corresponding to financial returns of approximately

million euros

new start-ups created

patent applications filed by the public research organisations

Organisation of nearly 60 events involving a total of

Organisation of the first training course on the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7 Training Programme 2011) in cooperation with the public research organisations Presentation of the capabilities of the clusters and of the public research organisations at the fourth edition of the “Business meets Research” forum Signature of three new collaboration agreements, namely with the National Research Fund (Fonds National de la Recherche FNR), the Virtual Resource Centre for Knowledge about Europe (Centre Virtuel sur la Connaissance de l’Europe — CVCE) and the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) Outstanding collaboration with the business sector for the organisation of the second edition of the Luxembourg Innovation Masterclass


increase in the number of unique visitors on the Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research ( compared to 2010

An emphasis on collaboration between businesses, public research, and promotional activities at international level

international technology transfer agreements signed

Publication of the fifth issue of the internationally distributed promotional magazine “FOCUS on Research and Innovation in Luxembourg”, dedicated to information and communication technologies Launch of the second generation of the Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research (

Pages 08>09

Key figures

Supporting research and innovation

Supporting research and innovation Stimulating the innovation capacity of businesses and public research organisations is essential in order to boost their competitiveness, particularly when the economic climate is difficult. The development of a new product or service can deliver a crucial competitive advantage. This insight has motivated the public authorities to adopt a string of measures over the past few years in order to promote research and innovation, with the aim of supporting RDI both in the private and public sector. The new funding schemes established by the Law of 5 June 2009 relating to the promotion of research, development and innovation and by the Law of 18 February 2010 relating to the

promotion of eco-technologies and sustainable development, spearheaded by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, met with unparalleled success among businesses in 2011. Indeed, 79 projects benefited from national funding for RDI, environment and energy activities in 2011. They were submitted by 58 separate businesses, 35 of which were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Of these successful applications, 69 focused on RDI projects proposed by 52 different companies, which included 33 SMEs. A total of 10 related to environment or energy projects initiated by 6 individual businesses, including 2 SMEs.

Breakdown of the 79 successful applications for national RDI and environment-energy funding in 2011 by aid scheme  R&D: 41

Aid for young innovative enterprises: 4 Feasibility studies: 9 Protection of technical industrial property: 2 Innovation advisory services and innovation support services: 8 Process and organisational innovation in services: 2 De minimis measures: 3

Size of the 58 businesses that benefited from this state aid in 2011* 

SMEs: 60 %

Large companies: 40 %

Sectoral breakdown of the 69 projects awarded national RDI funding in 2011 Materials and production technologies: 37

Space: 2 Life sciences: 4 ICT: 19

Eco-innovation: 7

*  It is worth noting that the 58 beneficiaries included 19 start-ups and 5 businesses specialising in skilled crafts.

Pages 10>11

Environment and energy: 10

Supporting research and innovation

FAST-TRACK DIAGNOSTICS: A multiplex kit for germ detection

AZTEK: A concentrate of technologies

Established in December 2006, Fast-Track Diagnostics specialises in the identification of pathogens and draws on highly innovative technologies such as real-time polymerase chain reaction methods in order to detect a broad range of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. In 2011, Fast-Track developed and commercialised a multiplex kit for the detection of germs associated with bacterial gastroenteritis. With this product, the main bacteria causing gastroenteritis can be detected simultaneously in just a few hours, while earlier technologies can require up to three days. This project received a grant awarded by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade under the Research & Development scheme. FastTrack Diagnostics benefited from Luxinnovation support for its R&D activities.

A specialist in privative cashless payment systems, Aztek develops solutions used, notably, in vending machines, access management, car wash facilities and leisure activities. The company, which is headquartered in Schifflange, is one of the very few European businesses operating in this particular niche market. In 2011, it launched a new range named “Luxéo”. This system, which is a veritable concentrate of technologies (such as NFC, MiFARE and DESFire), can be set up to make a broad range of services accessible from the same physical support — a key fob, a card or a sticker. This innovation has enabled the company to pursue its growth on new markets, notably beyond Europe’s borders. With Luxinnovation’s help, Aztek was able to secure a grant from the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade for the certification of this new product.

CETREL and the SnT: Establishment of a publicprivate partnership The SIX Group company CETREL, a Luxembourgbased supplier of technologies for electronic payment transactions and ICT services for the financial sector, and the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) concluded a strategic partnership agreement in 2011. The objective of this cooperation, which is supported by Luxinnovation, is to set up a research programme on the security of electronic payment transactions. In this way, CETREL aims to place innovation at the heart of its strategy and to gain access to the latest information on ICT security and testing. The SnT, for its part, strives to develop leading-edge research in order to respond to industry needs.

To support public and private actors with their involvement in collaborative research at European level, the government has appointed Luxinnovation as the National Contact Point for the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7), EUREKA, Eurostars and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) as well as for the programmes of the European Space Agency (ESA). In 2011, nearly 140 Luxembourg participations were recorded, corresponding to financial returns approximating 15 million euros (a provisional figure, based on the information available to date).

The European project CUbRIK: The future of multimedia research At the moment, the results displayed by multimedia search engines often still lack relevance. The CUbRIK project combines a broad range of scientific and technical innovations (such as architecture designed to harness the insight of individuals and social groups) in order to develop tailor-made search solutions for the media industry and for other players who are shaping the digital world. Launched in 2011, CUbRIK is part-funded by FP7 and has secured a total budget of 8.9 million euros for the coming three years. The first CUbRIK platform will be available in late 2012, and subsequent versions will be issued every six months.

Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development In 2011, the budgets allocated to the 10 key thematic areas of FP7 increased significantly. In parallel, preparations for the next steps are being made, with the European Commission in November 2011 publishing its suggestions for the proposed framework programme Horizon 2020, set to begin in January 2014. The objective of Luxinnovation’s misson to gather and disseminate information, to advise and to coach is to boost Luxembourg’s level of participation and the success rate of projects in a competitive environment. Both in terms of quantity and quality, the provisional results for 2011 are satisfactory, with 98 Luxembourg participations in FP7 and increased involvement of public research centres, of the University of Luxembourg and of SMEs in this programme, which is geared to excellence in research. Financial returns for the country amount to approximately 11 million euros.

The Virtual Resource Centre for Knowledge about Europe (CVCE) manages the implementation and the evaluation of the search engines developed by the project. It is a member of the project consortium, which additionally encompasses 14 other partners including businesses, universities and European research centres. The project is coordinated by Engineering Ingegneria Informatica (ENG). Luxinnovation, as the National Contact Point for the EU programmes, provided the CVCE with valuable support throughout the preparation, evaluation and negotiation of the proposal for the project, which now benefits from FP7 funding.

Pages 12>13

An emphasis on international research collaboration

Supporting research and innovation

A particular undertaking involving Luxinnovation and the University, in close cooperation with all of Luxembourg’s public research organisations, consisted in the launch of a comprehensive training course named “FP7 Training Programme 2011 for Luxembourg Researchers”. This programme, comprised of six specific modules, was designed to cover all steps from the funding application to the management of a project. It attracted nearly 300 researchers and businesses and achieved excellent satisfaction ratings. Extending this drive to professionalise the project-related skills of the actors in the research arena, several tailor-made thematic seminars were organised for the public research organisations in order to address their specific requirements. Luxembourg businesses received further assistance from Luxinnovation through the Fit4Europe-FP7 measure initiated by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade. This scheme contributes to the cost of preparing project proposals for FP7. In 2011, 34 companies made use of this possibility for 56 individual projects. The “gateway” programmes: EUREKA, Eurostars and AAL Additionally, there are several “gateway” programmes which combine the advantages of a European scope with those of a nationally based set-up. These are the EUREKA initiative, Eurostars — a programme managed by EUREKA — and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), a programme that strives to enhance the quality of life of older people with the help of information and communication technologies.

FAYMONVILLE: The EUREKAlabelled Powermax project Faymonville S.A. is a European leader in the construction of semi-trailers for specialist haulage. The company, which has a production unit and an engineering department in Lentzweiler, strives to respond flexibly to even the most exacting customer requirements regarding technical aspects, modularity and scheduling. In 2011, Faymonville set up a research partnership with two specialised companies: SAF-Holland, an internationally renowned producer of axle systems, and Poclain, a world leader in hydraulic motor technology. POWERMAX is a hybrid product that can be used in three operating forms: as a standard modular trailer featuring all the advantages of the MODULMAX range; as additional traction, if required, for trucks going uphill, where POWERMAX reduces transport costs considerably; as a self-propelled unit for low-speed interfactory use, requiring no external traction. The POWERMAX project was awarded the EUREKA label with Luxinnovation’s support, and Faymonville benefited from financial assistance from the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade.

The AAL programme aims to coordinate and reinforce the measures and programmes implemented by the Member States in order to enhance the quality of life of older people with the help of information and communication technologies. In 2011, 5 Luxembourg participations were recorded.

The programmes of the European Space Agency Regarding the European Space Agency (ESA), the drive to promote, advise and position Luxembourg actors was pursued in 2011, in line with projects launched in 2010. Luxembourg has committed substantial funding to the programmes relating to the space-based component of the AIS (Automatic Identification System) and to the EDRS (European Data Relay Satellite). More than 50 projects were supported and submitted in 2011. The number of Luxembourg participations in the contracts signed during the first half of the year amounts to 21. The financial returns generated by the involvement of Luxembourg actors in ESA programmes during the first half of 2011 added up to more than 3.7 million euros. Moreover, Luxinnovation represented Luxembourg on several ESA committees throughout the year.

Luxinnovation has stepped up its efforts to promote the AAL programme, notably through the relevant working group of the Luxembourg ICT Cluster, which is animated by the Agency.

European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS): A crucial system for Europe The ERDS system is a European satellite system designed to reduce time delays in the transmission of large amounts of data. Relay satellites are placed in a geostationary orbit in order to capture and transmit information from non-geostationary satellites, spacecraft or airborne vehicles to ground stations, which cannot communicate with these sources directly unless they have an unbroken line of sight. The system’s infrastructure will consist of two geostationary payloads, a ground system including a satellite

1 CELTIC: Cooperation for a sustained European Leadership in Telecommunications 2 ITEA 2: Information Technology for European Advancement

control centre, a mission operation centre and a “feeder link” ground station as well as several data ground stations. ESA and ASTRIUM GmbH signed a public-private partnership agreement in early October 2011. Luxembourg, with a contribution of approximately 16 million euros, is one of the main sponsors of the system. The companies SES and HiTEC Luxembourg will be in charge of the primary and backup “feeder link” ground station and of two data stations. SES will also be involved in the development of the backup mission operation centre.

Pages 14>15

Luxinnovation acts as the National EUREKA Coordination Secretariat on behalf of the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade. In this capacity, the Agency offers its assistance to any company or research organisation in Luxembourg that wishes to submit a technological innovation project, provided that at least one industrial partner from another European country is involved. In total, 13 Luxembourg participations in the EUREKA initiative were recorded for 2011 (5 in Eurostars, 4 in the CELTIC1 Cluster, 3 in the ITEA 22 Cluster, and 1 in a transport project).


STRENGTHENING NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS Investing in clusters to boost public-private collaborations The excellence of a scientific and technological environment is usually assessed in terms of two main criteria: the quality of its research, and its capacity to valorise scientific knowledge for the benefit of society and of the economy. Luxembourg has embraced this message and has initiated action at national and international level in order to stimulate collaborations for research and development. The cluster programme launched by the government is a concrete example as it has led to the establishment of five active clusters, for which Luxinnovation has taken on the role of animator, tasked with coordinating and organising the various activities. A new governance policy, associated with the promotion of a strong corporate identity, was implemented in 2010 in order to foster a shared methodology. In 2011, these ongoing structuring efforts translated into the development of a specific work programme for each cluster. “Turning innovation into business” is the challenge that this policy of mobilisation around specific technologies is designed to meet, with the objective of fostering publicprivate partnerships both nationally and internationally. The results for 2011 are encouraging, as the inspiration for several R&D projects that received financial support

from the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade originated from discussions among the members of the various clusters. The Luxembourg Cluster Initiative encompasses the following thematic clusters: Luxembourg Materials Cluster Luxembourg ICT Cluster Luxembourg Space Cluster Luxembourg BioHealth Cluster Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster. The BioHealth Cluster and the EcoInnovation Cluster were set up in line with the action plans for health technologies and eco-technologies adopted by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade. Committed to contributing to the reinforcement of Luxembourg’s national innovation system, the clusters and their members have confirmed their determination to develop collaborative projects involving representatives of both the public and the private sector. In 2011, several activities were undertaken in this spirit, notably as a result of the establishment of various working groups (the Space Cluster’s group on locationbased services and the ICT Cluster’s groups “E-payment and e-invoicing”, “ICT for green” and “ICT for a healthy and ageing population”). The prime objective of these thematic groups is to operate in complete synergy in order to create services and technologies for the future.

The Rotarex group, a market leader in valves, regulators and fittings for a range of markets and types of gas applications (automotive, medical, semiconductors) has been developing a surface coating formulation and technology since 2010 in the context of the Nanoprotech project, which is funded in part by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade. This nanostructured and multifunctional coating combines anti-corrosive and self-lubricating properties that will help to simplify and reduce the use of many organic compounds that can interact with the gases involved.

Additionally, Luxinnovation organised numerous thematic events linked to the clusters: networking events (e.g. on the premises of Laboratoire Ketterthill for the BioHealth Cluster) and interregional Meeting Days for clusters (InterMat 2011, in cooperation with MecaTech and Materalia, two clusters respectively located in Belgium and France). The clusters, in turn, have represented Luxembourg and their members at various international events, such

This innovation is the outcome of a strong partnership with the Public Research Centre Gabriel Lippmann, which contributed technical expertise in physical vapour deposition. Rotarex has also called on the capabilities of the Public Research Centre Henri Tudor for the development of a coating material with similar properties, which in contrast is deposited using a sol-gel process. The contact with these two institutions was established by Luxinnovation in the context of the clusters. Rotarex has also received funding advice from Luxinnovation in order to secure financial assistance from the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade.

as the Medica fair in Dßsseldorf, in the case of the BioHealth Cluster, and the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, in the case of the Space Cluster. In parallel with these events, several promotional tools were developed. The Luxembourg Space Cluster produced a catalogue of Luxembourg’s space-related capabilities that was distributed at the Paris Air Show, and the ICT Cluster maintains a directory of actors involved in AAL that can be accessed directly on its website.

Pages 16>17

ROTAREX: Nanoprotech, a fruitful public-private partnership

LUXEMBOURG BIOHEALTH CLUSTER “The events organised by the Luxembourg BioHealth Cluster create invaluable opportunities to meet individuals and businesses with whom we can establish partnerships or simply exchange information. This networking support is essential for the ongoing and sustainable development of Luxembourg’s biomedical research community.” Dr Robert A. Phillips, CEO, Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg (IBBL)


LUXEMBOURG ECOINNOVATION CLUSTER “As a recently established company here in Luxembourg, we particularly appreciate the fact that our involvement in the Luxembourg EcoInnovation Cluster provides many opportunities to promote our technology and also enables us to cooperate with other small or medium-sized enterprises like ours. I think that maintaining strong local ties is crucial in the interest of a long-term perspective.” Jan Grimbrandt, Chairman of the Board, Boson Energy SA

Luxembourg ICT Cluster “itrust consulting regularly participates in working groups of the ICT and Space Clusters (notably, the working groups “ICT for a healthy and ageing population” and “Location-based services”). The clusters keep us informed of opportunities arising from European research programmes, help us to find partners, and enhance the visibility of our security audit and consulting services.” Dr Carlo Harpes, Manager, itrust consulting

“Delphi attaches great importance to developing new business opportunities based on innovative projects. Our involvement in the Luxembourg Materials Cluster and its Mathematical Modelling group enables us to share our competencies with various actors in the field and thus to contribute to the development and excellence of research and innovation in Luxembourg.” Camille Feyder, Research & Innovation Technologist, Delphi Automotive Systems Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG SPACE CLUSTER “The Luxembourg Space Cluster is a prime instrument for enabling space and telecoms know-how ‘Made in Luxembourg’ to resonate beyond our borders. SE S is an active member and supports the Cluster’s initiatives. I am convinced that federating the actors of this sector in this way will help to position Luxembourg as a key player in the international space community.” Jos Giannandrea, VP, Operations & Customer Services, SES TechCom

Pages 18>19



Finding partners through technology transfer and networking In order to bring the ideas of project promoters to scientific, technological and commercial fruition, Luxinnovation has developed a range of personalised services enabling businesses to find suitable partners, notably through privileged access to the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN). As a partner of EENLuxembourg, jointly with the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Trades, Luxinnovation devoted particular attention to the proactive, targeted dissemination of more than 500 company profiles in 2011. This drive has generated more than 150 replies from

EPURAMAT: Successful technology transfer Epuramat, a company specialising in wastewater treatment, has benefited from Luxinnovation advice on technology transfer. This Luxembourg-based company places a heavy emphasis on research and development in order to boost the performances of its cutting-edge technologies on an ongoing basis. In 2011, Epuramat submitted two technology offers written by Luxinnovation to the Enterprise Europe Network. In order to assist the company in its drive for diversification into new markets where its technologies show particular potential, Luxembourg published a first technology offer

businesses and from Luxembourg’s public research organisations, with 50 % leading to contact initiation. In total, 6 international technology transfers were recorded. 2 large companies and 2 start-ups signed EEN partnership agreements with businesses in Germany, France and Korea as well as with a Spanish research centre. Luxinnovation’s teams also produced approximately a dozen new technology offers on behalf of Luxembourg businesses, attracting considerable interest from companies abroad. These technology offers are available online on the Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research (

online, which related to post-treatment of digester residues, and subsequently another, which concerned the separation of oil and water in the context of petroleum extraction. As a result of the dissemination of these technology offers to the entire network, Luxinnovation’s teams received several enquiries expressing interest. Nearly 7 contacts with British, Dutch, French and Spanish firms were thus initiated based on the first offer, and 2 for the second.

Employment contracts and collaboration agreements, confidentiality arrangements, databases, software, client lists, trade names, publications and even know-how — any type of activity may involve intellectual property. Throughout the year, businesses and research organisations were offered intellectual property diagnostics, developed in cooperation with the Technology Watch Centre of the Public Research Centre Henri Tudor, as a means of helping them to assess their practices regarding the management of intellectual property. Luxinnovation advisors provided project promoters with information on various key aspects, such as the monitoring of developments in technology and in the relevant laws, licensing, and partnerships for the valorisation of assets. In order to promote a better understanding of the importance of intellectual property, Luxinnovation, the Technology Watch Centre and the Office for Intellectual Property of the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade organised a new edition of the Intellectual Property Tuesdays. This course, which included five thematic modules, was organised for the fourth consecutive year and addressed questions on patents, trademarks, designs, models, copyrights and technology transfer agreements. It attracted more than 100 participants per module. Building on this success, Luxinnovation will launch Luxembourg’s first training programme on intellectual property in 2012, jointly with the Office for Intellectual Property, the Technology Watch Centre and the Luxembourg School for Commerce. Intellectual Property Tuesdays — March 2011

Improving the valorisation of innovations The first performance contracts (2008–2010) prompted the public research organisations to define policies for the management of intellectual property and valorisation. The new performance contracts of the various actors of the national innovation system underline and reassert the importance of valorising the results generated by Luxembourg’s research laboratories. The collaboration agreements that all public research organisations have signed with Luxinnovation reflect this emphasis. Moreover, Luxinnovation and the Technology Watch Centre participate in the Interreg project TIGRE1. This project additionally involves the main actors in charge of valorisation throughout the Greater Region, i.e. the WuT for Saarland, the IMG and the Fachhochschule Kaiserlautern for Rhineland-Palatinate, the Interface of the University of Liège, the business development corporation of the German-speaking community of Belgium, and the CERES project for the region of Lorraine. One of the project’s main objectives is the commercialisation of intellectual property primarily generated through public research, notably through the sharing of good practice and the establishment of common procedures for the exchange of technologies to be valorised collectively by all partners. The activities undertaken in the context of this network have widened the potential range of collaborations between public research organisations and businesses and created opportunities to draw on the experience of the Greater Region for the future deployment of effective valorisation tools. 1 The name TIGRE is an acronym for “Transfert de technologies et innovation dans la Grande Région”, i.e. “Technology transfer and innovation in the Greater Region”.

Pages 20>21

Intellectual property: raising awareness, providing training


the “Business meets Research” forum: A showcase for the public and private sector actors of Luxembourg research With public research meeting the private sector for the fourth time in as many years, the 2011 edition of the “Business meets Research” forum was a first-rate event! Structured around the thematic areas addressed by the clusters, the “Business meets Research” forum enabled participants to discover the know-how of outstanding experts in research, development and innovation. Communication between businesses and public research organisations may not always be easy, but it is essential in the area of innovation. From its very beginnings, the “Business meets Research” forum has offered its services as a facilitator for this dialogue and as a showcase for the practical applications of research conducted in Luxembourg. The cooperation extends well beyond the country’s borders, with many participants travelling in from across the Greater Region. In total, more than 350 people took part in the event in order to discover

the expertise of the research institutes and meet potential partners for new projects. Ms Clara De La Torre, Director for Research and Innovation of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, presented the initiatives that the European Union will take forward over the coming years in support of innovation and research. Mr Pierre Decker, 1er Conseiller de Gouvernement at the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, underlined the importance of public-private partnerships for the valorisation of research results. “Innovation Matchmaking” was a new forum activity launched at the 2011 edition. The concept is simple: encouraging participants to meet in order to stimulate the emergence of new partnerships and collaborative projects. A steady pace throughout the day and approximately a hundred appointments enabled more than 200 participants to exchange ideas in scheduled and personalised meetings. While research and innovation actors were invited to transmit overviews of their capabilities, technologies and services ahead of the event, the forum’s website registered more than 120 different profiles.

From left to right: Gilles Schlesser (Luxinnovation), Pierre Decker (Ministry of Higher Education and Research), Pierre Schilling (CTIE), Pierre Gramegna (Chamber of Commerce), Marco Walentiny (Luxinnovation), Clara De La Torre (European Commission) and Lena Mårtensson (Luxinnovation)

Innovation driven by start-ups “Made in Luxembourg” Sharing of experience, exchange of knowledge and personalised coaching can accelerate the development of all actors, but they are particularly beneficial for entrepreneurs. Promoters of innovative projects can rely on the lasting support of Luxinnovation at all stages of the implementation of their projects — from the analysis of the underlying idea and the elaboration of the business plan to the sourcing of funds and the establishment of contacts with technology partners. Luxinnovation facilitates the interaction with the various institutions involved in the business creation process, such as the “Espace Entreprises” of the Chamber of Commerce and the “Contact Entreprises” service of the Chamber of Trades, and also acts as an interface for the initiation of contacts with industrial and technology partners. In keeping with this role, Luxinnovation provided personalised assistance for 7 businesses housed, in 2011, in the ecostart infrastructures in Foetz: iNUI Studio, Galimeo, Lion Systems, itrust consulting, SaintGobain Solar Systems, Agilis Engineering and EZC Group. Luxinnovation also supported the innovative businesses housed at the Technoport. In total, 23 new innovative startups were established in Luxembourg in 2011.

The interregional business plan contest 1,2,3,Go, of which Luxinnovation is a founder, met with great enthusiasm for its 2010–2011 edition. Approximately 60 of the competing business plans were submitted by projects from Luxembourg. Of the 10 entries that went through to the final stage of the contest, 2 were rewarded: Yappoint (named as the “Jury’s Favourite”) and Jeeni. Approximately a dozen new coaches were welcomed to the network for Luxembourg alone. As in previous years, Luxinnovation participated in the “Journées Création d’entreprises” (Business Creation Days) organised in October 2011 by the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Trades and proposed a workshop on state aid for innovative start-ups. In addition to providing explanations of the different aid schemes, this workshop focused on the exchange of experience. Participants were able to gather the personal impressions of two entrepreneurs (Trendiction and itrust) who has benefited from Luxinnovation’s support and from various types of national and European funding. The Agency also applied itself to providing promoters of innovative projects with up-to-date information, notably in view of the inauguration of the new incubator in Belval in 2012.

Pages 22>23

Stimulating innovation

Wordbee, a successful start-up The Luxembourg-based company Wordbee, specialised in translation software, has developed Wordbee Translator, a collaborative platform for computer-assisted translation (CAT) and project management. Wordbee Translator’s online collaboration environment notably owes its success to the combination of a project management suite and a CAT tool whose functionalities are directly oriented towards the practical needs of the users. It provides an interface between the end client, the translation agency and any contributing freelance translators. Businesses, translation agencies

and public administrations have adopted this system as a highly effective means of improving the flow of documents to be translated and the sharing of information, with immediate return on investment. Wordbee notably benefited from the programmes of the Technoport but also from Luxinnovation coaching for the elaboration of its business plan and for its funding application. This assistance enabled the company to secure funding, under the “Young innovative businesses” heading of the Law of 5 June 2009 relating to the promotion of research, development and innovation, in order to support its business expansion strategy.

Stimulating innovation

Innovation management Astute innovation management consists in creating value by selecting the best ideas and putting them to good use. However, the success of an innovation generally builds on the full range of a company’s resources — human, technical, financial, etc. Whether or not a company is innovative is determined by its approach to the management of its innovation capacity. To transform a new idea into commercial success, a detailed understanding of the various innovation management techniques is useful. To promote this know-how, Luxinnovation, the Chamber of Trades and the Luxembourg School for Commerce organised the fifth consecutive annual edition of their joint innovation management training programme. The course, which comprised 6 modules, enabled more than 60 participants to learn how to generate new ideas, transpose these ideas into successful products or services and solve problems, and how to approach the sale of innovative products and services.

Luxembourg Innovation Masterclass: A tailor-made concept Innovation is not the preserve of large companies or creative individuals, and it rarely occurs by chance. It is first and foremost the outcome of a systematic process. Professor Bessant confirmed this basic principle in addressing the 200 participants at the open lecture that was held on 27 October 2011 on the premises of the Chamber of Commerce. According to Professor Bessant, most of the time, the challenge of innovation lies in pursuing the same activities as before — only better. The Luxembourg Innovation Masterclass was launched at the request of businesses following the contribution of Professor Hugo Tschirky at the event celebrating Luxinnovation’s 25th anniversary in 2009. The programme in

Innovation as a development factor for SMEs SMEs benefited from particular attention, as evidenced by a range of specialised services aimed at mobilising their innovation potential. As part of a joint initiative with the Chamber of Trades, several meetings of the Innovation Club were held during the year, enabling the managers of SMEs to exchange good practice. Luxinnovation and the Chamber of Trades also organised a new cycle of roadshows in the north and the south of the country (Clervaux and Esch-sur-Alzette) in May, in order to brief SMEs on ways of boosting their efficiency and competitiveness through innovation.

its entirety was designed to respond to the needs of business community and reflect industry trends. The opinion of businesses is very important, which is why Luxinnovation decided that it was vital to involve them in the preparation of the event. The choice of the lecturer, the selection of key themes and the topics to be covered were discussed with the partner companies, which included not only large organisations (Delphi, Goodyear, IEE and Intrasoft) but also several SMEs (Hitec, Imatec and LuxForge). Professor Bessant’s background appeared to resonate with all of them. It encompasses 25 years of experience in consultancy for numerous governments and international organisations (such as the OECD, the United Nations and the World Bank).

In cooperation with its partners, Luxinnovation also proposed a series of sector-specific seminars for the food sector and the building sector. SMEs aiming to take their innovation activities to the next level were offered personalised coaching schemes by Luxinnovation advisors, based on detailed innovation audits. These campaigns to raise awareness and promote personalised coaching among SMEs have produced encouraging results: in 2011 more than 60 % of the businesses that benefited from state aids for their RDI and energyenvironment projects were SMEs.

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Professor John Bessant, University of Exeter Business School

The winners of the 2011 edition of the GENIAL! contest

Stimulating innovation

Design at the heart of innovation strategy Promoting design as an innovation tool among Luxembourg businesses was one of the objectives that Luxinnovation set itself for 2011. As a crucial interface between creativity and innovation, design considers economic, technological and societal aspects in order to shape products that have a high added value both for their users and for their producers. Where design is strategically integrated in businesses, it makes a significant contribution to the generation of innovative ideas and to their transposition into products, services and processes that are marketable, but also userfriendly and attractive. Integrating a design methodology into the innovation strategies of the business community thus constitutes a genuine factor of competitiveness. Following the presentation of a national action plan for design, the range of services proposed by Luxinnovation was extended considerably in order to coach businesses at every stage of their design process. The Agency has also provided guidance for 3 design projects that eventually secured funding from the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, and more than 10 businesses benefited from the ongoing support of Luxinnovation advisors.

IEE’s design approach for the 3D MLI SensorTM IEE specialises in the production and development of intelligent sensors. The company, which is based in Luxembourg, commissioned the firm Enthoven Associates Design Consultants to design the casing of its 3D MLI SensorTM. Three versions of the casing were produced, to be used depending on the architectural context. The 3D MLI SensorTM generates a matrix of distance data to compile a topographical image of the field of view. IEE uses this image as input data for applications such as high-precision people counting, single person detection and the surveillance of valuable objects. Benefiting from Luxinnovation

Creativity develops from an early age: The GENIAL! contest Another initiative aimed at promoting creativity and design drew particular attention in 2011. This was the organisation of the third edition of the Génial contest for innovative ideas, which rewarded 26 budding innovators aged 5 to 20. Entries were prepared individually or by groups. The best projects were selected by a panel of experts from the worlds of culture, design, education and enterprise who considered the innovative nature of the project, its potential for implementation and the quality of the argumentation. Since its creation in 2009, this competition for innovative ideas, organised in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, has encouraged the youngest members of the community to express and develop their ideas. Successfully so, as the three editions of the contest inspired 785 young contestants to submit a total of 419 ideas. Information on the winners of the 2011 edition is available on: guidance in the search for suitable contacts, IEE was able not only to contact a design consultant, but also to obtain advice on the best way to install the sensors in ceilings. The design approach, which IEE embraced, enabled the company to develop a more competitive product, to better understand market considerations and, most importantly, to meet the expectations of its customers precisely. A funding application for innovation advisory services relating to this project, which was implemented with support from Luxinnovation, was submitted and accepted under the “de minimis” heading of the Law on the promotion of innovation and research.

Events fostering a better understanding of innovation and research Innovation and research are frequently perceived as vague concepts, accessible only to specialists and experts. In fact, innovation and research are relevant to everybody. Decompartmentalising the concept of innovation, explaining that innovation involves a day-to-day process is the challenge that awareness-raising and promotion activities dedicated to innovation strive to meet. Luxinnovation implements a wide range of initiatives aimed at enabling each and everyone to discover the assets of innovation and research. With conferences, seminars and specialised training programmes, Luxinnovation organised more than 60 events in 2011, in close cooperation with its partners. More than 3,000 people were thus able to take part in the various thematic events proposed by the Agency. In view of their great success, some of these events are now held regularly, such as Luxinnovation’s “Business meets Research” forum, the Luxembourg Innovation Masterclass, the innovation management training programmes and the “Intellectual Property Tuesdays”.

Launch of the second generation of the Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research The Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research ( is one of the very first thematic portals of the State of Luxembourg. Managed by Luxinnovation on behalf of the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade since 2003, it provides a single point of access to information on research, development and innovation in Luxembourg. Site content is created in partnership with the actors in the field, notably the relevant Ministries, public research entities, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Trades and the National Research Fund. In May 2011, at the “Business meets Research” forum, Luxinnovation in cooperation with the CTIE (Centre des technologies de l’information de l’Etat — Luxembourg’s state centre for information technologies) officially presented the second generation of the Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research. Extensively restructured and modernised in order to meet the needs and expectations of its target groups, the Portal now features completely remodelled navigation, architecture and design in order to boost its usability. It also includes innovative functionalities that will gradually be adopted by all official websites of the State.

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Promoting innovation and research

Promoting innovation and research

The objective of the new Portal is to enable visitors to find the information they need quickly and easily, without any prior knowledge of the organisations providing this content. Structured in keeping with the portal concept, it supplies information that is comprehensive but concise and directs visitors towards organisations and resources that can provide further support. The new search engine was designed to cover more than 400 technology areas. The upgrade has been successful, as reflected in the fact that the number of unique visitors increased by 85 % compared to 2010.

Inauguration of the exhibition of Russian technologies in October 2011

Initiating and consolidating international collaborations with Russia In October 2011, Luxinnovation organised the Russian HighTech Conference and Exhibition, prepared jointly with the Russian Center of Science and Culture in the Grand Duchy and Luxembourg’s National Research Fund. The objective was to facilitate the establishment of international public-private partnerships and

the creation of networks of experts. Originating from contacts between the governments of the two countries, this event mobilised more than 100 participants and Russian scientists from renowned research organisations. It enabled entrepreneurs and researchers in Luxembourg to initiate or consolidate international collaborations in a broad range of technology areas and to discover cutting-edge products and technologies presented by the participating Russian research centres and universities.

National and international dissemination of the magazine “FOCUS on Research and Innovation in Luxembourg”

Indeed, the Grand Duchy provides excellent infrastructure and benefits from outstanding ICT services. These assets are vital for the country’s economy and more specifically for its powerful financial sector, which relies heavily on local ICT security expertise. In this latest issue of the FOCUS magazine, Luxinnovation explores various aspects of ICT security and presents the viewpoints of various key actors in the Grand Duchy. Published in English, FOCUS is printed in 20,000 copies and distributed nationally as well as internationally, to businesses, universities and public research laboratories as well as to investors and political decision-makers.

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The magazine “FOCUS on Research and Innovation in Luxembourg” was launched in 2008. Luxinnovation established a partnership with the Board of Economic Development, the National Research Fund, the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in order to launch a publication promoting the Grand Duchy’s science, technology and innovation. Published in October 2011, the fifth issue of this internationally distributed magazine was dedicated to ICT security. With many companies and public research organisations active in this field, Luxembourg has much to offer and presents a high growth potential in this area.

A brochure promoting public-private partnerships In 2011, Luxinnovation and the National Research Fund jointly published a brochure titled “Boost your competitiveness with public knowledge: funding opportunities for publicprivate partnerships”. This publication presents the relevant funding schemes.

Annual accounts BALANCE SHEET as at 31 DECEMBER 2011 (EUR) ASSETS





Intangible assets



Tangible assets



Annual accounts


LIABILITIES CAPITAL AND RESERVES Subscribed capital Reserves Result for the financial year



2,207,891.24 1,761,630.13 541,739.24


1,666,152.00 1,219,890.89 –




Trade creditors



Tax and social security debts



Other creditors





2,561,389.03 2,196,605.96 919,375.50


1,642,013.53 1,422,332.12 109,278.92




2,780,482.37 2,371,201.03


2,780,482.37 2,371,201.03

PROFIT AND LOSS ACCOUNT as at 31 DECEMBER 2011 (EUR) CHARGES Operating costs Value adjustments on tangible and intangible fixed assets



4,192,953.64 4,034,234.79

INCOME Net contributions



4,236,727.46 4,014,329.04

Other operating income







Value adjustments in respect of current assets

Interest receivable and similar income



Extraordinary income



Other operating charges


Extraordinary charges



Profit for the financial year

4,380,749.60 4,161,295.60

Loss for the financial year

4,380,749.60 4,161,295.60


Luxinnovation operates under the supervision of a Management Board comprised of six members and their substitutes, appointed for a five-year mandate. The Luxembourg State (represented by the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade, the Ministry for Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Tourism) delegates the same number of representatives as the other members of the consortium, i.e. the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Trades and Fedil — Business Federation Luxembourg.

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The Management board

From left to right: Gilles Schlesser, Michel Brachmond, Gérard Eischen, Marco Walentiny, Léon Diederich and Gilles Scholtus. Not featured in the photo: René Winkin and Brigitte De Haeck.

Management Board

Board member

substitute board member

Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade

Marco WALENTINY (Chairman)


Conseiller de Direction 1ère classe

Conseiller de Gouvernement 1ère classe

Ministry for Higher Education and Research

Léon DIEDERICH (Vice-Chairman)


Conseiller de Gouvernement

Chargé de Mission

Ministry of Small and Medium-sized Businesses and Tourism

Emmanuel BAUMANN


Premier Conseiller de Gouvernement

Conseiller de Direction adjoint

Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce

Gérard EISCHEN (Vice-Chairman)


Member of the Board of Directors

Member of the Board of Directors

Luxembourg Chamber of Trades


Jeannette MULLER

Deputy Director

Technical Advisor

Fedil — Business Federation Luxembourg


Georges SANTER

Secretary General




Brigitte DE HAECK


Deputy Secretary


The Luxinnovation team   (as at 31 March 2012) Director

Project Managers

Project Officers



Rémi GRIZARD Simon GRUEAU Younis HIJAZI Antoine HRON Françoise MEISCH Carole NUSS Justine VALET

Secretary General Isabelle SCHLESSER senior Executive Advisors Ian CRESSWELL Brigitte DE HAECK Laurent FEDERSPIEL Marc FERRING Jean-Michel LUDWIG Senior Project Managers Patricia CONTI Arnaud DUBAN

Administrative assistants Carmen BEYERLE Nadège HEGUE Isabelle HENNEQUIN Tania LUCAS

2011 Luxinnovation E.I.G. 7, rue Alcide de Gasperi L - 1615 Luxembourg-Kirchberg T +352 43 62 63 1 / F +352 438 120

Annual Report 2011  

2011 marked the beginning of the second performance contract signed by Luxinnovation, the State, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Tra...

Annual Report 2011  

2011 marked the beginning of the second performance contract signed by Luxinnovation, the State, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Tra...