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Luxembourg National Research Fund

First project funded in joint FNR-Ministry of Agriculture Call

In June 2021, the FNR and the Luxembourg Ministry of Agriculture (MAVDR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), announcing the launch of a joint Call on “Sustainable and resilient agriculture and food systems”. Following the Call for proposals, 1 of 8 projects has been retained for funding. The funded project aims to support farmers and policy makers through a smart-cropping management solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect soil carbon. 

The FNR and the Luxembourg Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development (MAVDR) joined forces to put forward a call for research proposals to support policy making and to help the decision-making process.  

This collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and the FNR is a milestone that will enable the agricultural sector to move towards sustainable and resilient food systems while strengthening its position in the supply chain from farm to fork. This innovative approach is also part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s “Landwirtschaft+” approach for economic, social and ecological strengthening of the agricultural sector. 

The joint FNR-MAVDR call was launched to support applied multidisciplinary research on innovative resilient and sustainable farming practices and systems in three thematic research fields: 

  1. Adaptation of Luxemburg’s Agriculture to Climate Change
  2. Adaptation of Local Farming Practices to improve their Impact on Water Resources
  3. Adaptation of Local Farming Practices to improve their Impact on Biodiversity and Related Ecosystem Services in Agroecosystems

Cross-border collaborations were strongly encouraged in the Call, to allow high-level research consortia with complementary expertise to develop and exchange knowledge. 

The second joint Call is expected to be launched in July 2022. More information will be communicated at the launch of the Call. 

Funded project

Principal Investigator: Kate Buckeridge 

Institution: Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) 

Project partner: University of Aberdeen, UK 

Project title: Smart Cropping to Adapt Luxembourg Agriculture to Climate Change (ADAPT) 

Project duration: 48 months 

Project budget: 598,000 EUR 


Crops are necessary to feed people. However, growing crops causes soil to lose carbon and emit greenhouse gases. These emissions contribute to climate change and climate extremes — such as drought — and reduce crop yields. The EU and the Luxembourg governments have set strict climate legislation that requires farmers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, farmers need methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their fields and make their crops resilient to climate extremes. Policy makers need better accounting of greenhouse gas emissions to guide future legislation.

In ADAPT, we propose to support farmers and policy makers. We propose a smart-cropping management solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect soil carbon. It will use a practical and feasible combination of cover crops, under sown crops, reduced tillage, and reduced synthetic nitrogen. We will partner with farmers in the north and south of Luxembourg to test our management solution.

This partnership will involve comparing our smart cropping to conventional cropping, maintaining an experiment that diverts rainfall to mimic drought, and analysing soil and soil microorganisms in the lab to understand how our management solution keeps carbon in the soil. The data we collect will be used to calibrate and validate models that can simulate greenhouse gas emissions at the two sites. We will compare three popular models and select the best one, then collect national soil and climate data to scale up the model, to project emissions for all Luxembourg croplands. We will also incorporate regional climate projections to model the future greenhouse gas emissions for Luxembourg croplands.

ADAPT will transfer knowledge into Luxembourg: project partners from the University of Aberdeen are global experts in modelling agricultural soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. They will train staff at the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology in this valuable skill. Throughout the project, the ADAPT team will disseminate field and modelling results to the farm community.

Finally, improved greenhouse gas emissions maps for croplands will be delivered to policy makers at the end of the project, an important step-change towards reducing cropland greenhouse gas emissions in Luxembourg. 


Grand Prix en Sciences biologiques of the Section des Sciences de l’Institut grand-ducal awarded to Professor Tom Battin, EPFL

The international Jury of the Grand Prix en Sciences biologiques sponsored by Cactus s.a. unanimously decided to award the Grand Prix en Sciences biologiques 2023 to Professor Tom Battin for his pioneering and original research work on the ecology, architecture and biogeochemistry of freshwater stream microbial biofilms, especially significantly contributing to advance our knowledge about the microbiome of the streams that drain the roof of our planet, notably glacier-fed streams, now vanishing at a rapid pace owing to climate change.

INTERnational cooperation: Info session & save the date Audace FRQ Call

The next Audace FRQ Call will launch on 9 July 2024, with a pre proposal deadline on 18 September 2024, and full proposal deadline on 11 December 2024. Register now for an info & networking session taking place on 11 July from 16:30 – 18:00.

Results 2024 INTER Mobility Call

The FNR is pleased to communicate that 8 projects were retained for funding in the 2024 INTER Mobility call, an FNR commitment of 428,500 00 EUR. 5 projects are “in” (researchers from abroad coming to Luxembourg), and 3 are “out” (Luxembourg-based researchers going abroad).

CoARA 1 question survey – your input needed

As a part of the CoARA Working Group “Experiments in Assessment”, researchers are encouraged to answer a 1 question survey launched to collect ideas and potential experiments to change research assessment. The idea is to collect as many ideas as possible, and then create a catalogue that will be shared openly as well as develop a few ideas into pilots to be run by CoARA partners. 

Results 2024-1 PSP Classic Call

The FNR is pleased to communicate that 13 projects were selected for funding in the 2024-1 PSP Classic Call, an FNR commitment of 225,666 EUR. Through the PSP (Promoting Science to the Public), the FNR supports projects that bring science closer to the general public or students.

INTERnational cooperation: EUROSTARS programme

The FNR is pleased to communicate that the next EUROSTARS deadline is 12 September 2024. A webinar will take place on 10 July, from 10:30 – 12:00 CET. The FNR supports this call as part of the FNR INTER programme to foster international collaboration.

FNR JUMP: Ministry of Economy’s Spin-off track add-on Bonus for 2024 Calls

The FNR is pleased to communicate that following the pilot in 2023, the Ministry of the Economy will once again support the 2024 JUMP Calls with 300,000 EUR for six spin-off projects (50,000 EUR per project). The FNR’s JUMP programme provides competitive funding to public research institutions in Luxembourg in order to advance the development of applied research-driven and leading-edge technologies/concepts, products, and services that have the potential for enabling the creation of a start-up, licensing to an existing company or further funding in view of commercialisation.

INTERnational cooperation: 2nd Green Era Hub Call

The FNR is pleased to communicate the Green ERA-Hub (GEH) Call is now open. The Green ERA-Hub (GEH) is a Coordination and Support Action of the European Commission under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme. The objective of this call is “Crop and livestock farming meeting the challenges of climate change”. Deadline is 31 July (pre-proposals) and 5 September (full proposals).

New Mäin Element podcast episode: Emmanuel Defay

Mäin Element is a podcast collaboration between the FNR and Lëtzebuerger Journal. Listen to the latest episode featuring Emmanuel Defay from the Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology (LIST).

Results LuxAid BRIDGES Call

The FNR is pleased to communicate that 3 of 13 projects have been retained for funding in the LuxAid BRIDGES Call. LuxAid BRIDGES is a joint call between the FNR, the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFEA) and the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency LuxDev.

New Research Luxembourg-SciLux podcast episode: Child poverty

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FNR Industrial Partnership Block Grant (IPBG) awarded to University of Luxembourg’s SnT

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