Sasha Baillie (Luxinnovation) :
A new energy
Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation, presents Luxembourg's innovation strategy and the agency's role in the international promotion of the Grand Duchy. Interview
Can you present Luxinnovation in a few words?
Luxinnovation is positioned as the national innovation agency and is a public-private partnership between the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Skill Crafts and FEDIL. We work to encourage and support companies’ efforts to innovate and develop, while improving the co-operation between these companies and public research stakeholders. We offer a wide range of business support and consultancy services, thereby supporting the government's economic development objectives. Lastly, since the acquisition and integration of the former Luxembourg for Business agency in 2016, Luxinnovation has supported the Ministry of the Economy in promoting our economy internationally, with the aim of attracting international investment, companies and skills which are perfectly tailored to the country's needs.
“Brainpower” is destined to become its number one “natural resource”.”
What kinds of companies use your services?
All kinds! Since the beginning, we have worked with SMEs to make innovation more accessible for them, but we are also involved in large-scale projects with major groups[JG1] . For example, we’re working with Husky on the design and development of a new hyperconnected “factory of the future” and we’re supporting Circuit Foil as it develops new production lines. Start-ups, of course, are also a target audience for us. We received nearly 400 applications from 50 countries in 2018 for our Fit 4 Start acceleration programme and the creation, with our support, of several dozen start-ups shows the importance of Luxinnovation in this area. We also worked with the Luxembourg start-up LuxAI and its “social” robot for autistic children and with Ujet to set up a production site for electric scooters. Luxinnovation is also a founding member of the Innovation Hub in Dudelange, an incubator for start-ups focused on environmental technologies.
What is Luxembourg's strategy to ensure its competitiveness in the field of innovation?
Innovation is a key part of Luxembourg's economic policy. The introduction of various tools by successive governments enables us to support companies as they develop their technological know-how, by encouraging the introduction of new production processes, products and services and by improving existing structures and products. This requires the support of national stakeholders including Luxinnovation and the National Research Fund, along with professional chambers, public research organisations[JG2] , universities and business support structures. Luxembourg's future will be built on solid professional skills[JG3] ; “brainpower” is destined to become its number one “natural resource”. To encourage this momentum for innovation, we are increasingly focused on interaction, dialogue, the sharing of experiences and trial and error while ensuring that the sector benefits from an environment which is conducive to its development.