Claude Meisch, Minister of Higher Education and Research, has presented the Government’s research and innovation strategy for Luxembourg and the associated new national research priorities. This is the first time that Luxembourg has drawn up a formal national research strategy. The two documents define how Luxembourg’s scientific ecosystem should develop over the next 10 years and in which areas investment should be concentrated.
“The present National Research and Innovation Strategy aims to provide the general framework that will allow for a targeted development of Luxembourg’s research ecosystem in the years to come. It aspires to maximise its impact on the progress of the country and beyond while positioning Luxembourg as a major international player visible through its excellent research activities.
I am convinced that research will be one of the best ambassadors for a small country with a big impact.” – Claude Meisch
According to the strategy document, Luxembourg aims to be a diverse and sustainable knowledge society by 2030, as well as a secure digital society. The mission of research and innovation should be to make a significant contribution to the realisation of the vision “Luxembourg 2030”. Artificial intelligence should play an important role in this process and Luxembourg should be used optimally as a living test laboratory because of its small size.
The mission is to be achieved through the following measures:
- Coordinated governance, infrastructure and policy
- Research as a driver of innovation in industry, services and the public sector
- Anchoring science in society
How should the research strategy be implemented?
On the one hand, through more public funding for research. The Luxembourg government plans to increase public investment in research and development to 1% of GDP in the next few years, in line with the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy (investment was still below 0.7% in 2018). This target of 1% includes public spending in the public and private sectors, with public sector spending expected to reach 0.8% of GDP, according to the strategy document.
By 2021, public research institutions in Luxembourg should receive an additional 16 million euros, said Claude Meisch at the press conference. The individual research institutions will continue to conclude multi-year contracts with the government in which performance indicators are defined. These are to reflect the mission of the research and innovation strategy.
Furthermore, the strategy is to be implemented through targeted funding instruments of the FNR (mainly: CORE) around newly defined research priorities, as approved by the Government and published in December 2019. The inclusive process that led to these revised priorities took two years and involved multiple stakeholders: the national and international research community, public and private stakeholders as well as the various ministries.