Policy and strategy

Working in Europe | Research Landscape | Luxembourg

Public research in Luxembourg

 

Public research in Luxembourg is a young and dynamic field with research policy contributing to the country's transition to a knowledge-based society. The overarching rationale behind research policy is to strengthen innovation as a key driver of sustainability, socio-economic development and the process of economic diversification.

Luxembourg is a dynamic and open country, where research has become a key pilar in the diversification of the economy and in creating new horizons for society.

 

To this end, pursuing an effective policy for public research and innovation has been one of the major priorities of the Luxembourg Government since 1999, with government budget outlay rising from €28 million in 2000 to approximately €400 million in 2016. In 2018, the Government approved and committed a budget of €1.44 billion to support public research activities and higher education in Luxembourg for the period 2018-2021. This proactive and committed policy approach puts Luxembourg firmly on the map of European research.

 

The country’s strong position is illustrated by the 12th-place ranking of the University of Luxembourg – which was only created in 2003 – in the 2018 Times Higher Education Young University Rankings, a listing of the world’s top 150 universities aged 50 years or under; and its first-place position among universities in all categories for international outlook. Other international benchmarks also highlight Luxembourg’s ascension in terms of innovation and its research-oriented economy and society. In the 2018 Global Innovation Index (INSEAD), Luxembourg came 15th out of 127 countries.

Public research under the administrative supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research is performed at the following institutions:

 

In 2018, Luxembourg retained its position as one of the 20 most competitive economies in the world, as shown by the 2017-2018 WEF Global Competitiveness Index, where it was ranked 19th out of 137 countries (15th for Innovation and 1st for Technological Readiness); and in the 2018 European Innovation Scoreboard, Luxembourg was also identified as a leader of innovation, alongside Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK.

Various other research institutions are also supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, including the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law.

Most of the country’s public higher education and research activities have premises in Belval, a former industrial brownfield reconverted for a total budget in the region of €1 billion. Belval is an outstanding illustration of the “knowledge triangle” of research, higher education and innovation. The colocation of science and innovation on the same site opens opportunities for cooperation and interdisciplinary research as well as the consolidation of shared activities.

Luxembourg’s R&D intensity target for 2020 is to reach 2.3% to 2.6% of its GDP. The innovation policy strategy for the coming years is based on the development of holistic research. Key priorities include consolidating an eclectic society and developing cooperation between wide-ranging players, and fostering a culture of knowledge transfer to the economy and society. Last but not least, maintaining the international dimension which is an essential characteristic of Luxembourg society and economic development will be a key priority for strong science-based, innovation-driven growth.