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Franz Fayot and Sasha Baillie officialise the launch of startupluxembourg.com

6 July 2021

Franz Fayot and Sasha Baillie officialise the launch of startupluxembourg.com at the “Towards the next level“ event

On Monday 5 July 2021, the Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, and the CEO of Luxinnovation, Sasha Baillie, officially launched the platform www.startupluxembourg.com to further improve the visibility of the Luxembourg ecosystem internationally, while facilitating networking. The event, organised at Luxexpo the Box, was also the occasion to present the start-ups selected for the 11th edition of Fit 4 Start and to award the graduates of the previous edition.

Launched in 2019, Startup Luxembourg is the brand for the ecosystem focusing on young innovative companies in Luxembourg. It aims, through its web platform and social networks, to promote this ecosystem internationally and to facilitate networking and business opportunities.

Supported by the Ministry of the Economy and managed by Luxinnovation, the public initiative Startup Luxembourg serves all players in the ecosystem (start-ups, incubators, research institutes, public organisations, ....). Startup Luxembourg is also the brand under which Luxembourg is represented at international events dedicated to young innovative companies.

"The Luxembourg start-up ecosystem has grown considerably in recent years, both in terms of the number of start-ups and in terms of programmes and support measures," said the Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot.

"Our ecosystem has reached a certain level of maturity and it is now the right time to focus our efforts on promoting it beyond our borders," added Sasha Baillie, the CEO of Luxinnovation. The Startup Luxembourg brand now has 17,000 followers on its three social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) and has already represented Luxembourg several times at international trade fairs such as Viva Technology in Paris and the Web Summit in Lisbon.

 A reflection of the Luxembourg start-up ecosystem

The main objective of the www.startupluxembourg.com platform, which was officially launched today, is to highlight the ecosystem and its players, as well as to bring together all the latest news about start-ups in Luxembourg. At the international level, it serves as a lever to highlight all the advantages that the country can offer to young innovative companies. It also enables direct contact with incubators, start-ups and institutional players.

At the national level, the platform also aims to facilitate networking and business opportunities. Based on a very advanced design and user experience, the site aims to best reflect the specificities of the Luxembourg ecosystem. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a prime location from which to access the European market, with an open and international economy by nature, easy and quick access to private and public decision makers, a digital agenda clearly outlined by the government and a unique quality of life.

Fit 4 Start in the spotlight

The event was also an opportunity to revisit the Fit 4 Start programme, the 11th edition of which was announced in early June.

Launched by the Ministry of the Economy and managed by Luxinnovation in collaboration with Technoport, Luxembourg City Incubator and Luxembourg Space Agency, the Fit 4 Start programme helps young innovative companies to launch from Luxembourg, transforming innovative ideas and project leaders‘ strong will to succeed into companies with a strong growth potential. Initially open only to start-ups in the ICT sector, Fit 4 Start now also targets companies active in health and space technologies.

The 15 start-ups selected at the beginning of June for the 11th edition pitched their solutions in person or online. These 15 start-ups will benefit from six months of specialised support, as well as individual funding of €50,000 from the Ministry of the Economy, with the possibility of receiving an additional €100,000 if they successfully complete the programme and manage to raise private capital.

A round table discussion with former participants looked back on the main developments that have contributed to the reputation of Fit 4 Start. In 10 editions over a period of 5 years, the programme has seen more than 1,800 start-ups apply and 78 follow the different coaching sessions. The event ended with the graduation of the 16 successful applicants from the 10th edition.

 The start-ups selected for the 11th edition of Fit 4 Start  (see appendix)

ICT

  • AiVidens (B)
  • Cascade Lab Sàrl (L)
  • ChemChain (L)
  • Divizend (D)
  • Kodehyve (L)
  • LetzMath (L)
  • No Big Deal (L)
  • The Kindness Group (L)
  • The Privacy Office Luxembourg S.A. (L)
  • to Stories (L)

 

SPACE

  • Blackswan Technologies (LT)
  • Clutch Space Systems Limited (UK)
  • Mission Space (LV)
  • Novo Space, Co. (USA)
  • Plus Ultra Space Outposts SL (ES)

 

Usefull links:
www.startupluxembourg.lu
www.fit4start.lu

www.luxinnovation.lu

Thailand lists its sovereign sustainability bond on the Luxembourg Green Stock Exchange

28 April 2021

On 28 April 2021 in a virtual Ring the Bell ceremony attended by Thailand’s Minister of Finance Arkom Termpittayapaisith and with a message from Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange (LuxSE) welcomed the Kingdom of Thailand as a new issuer at the exchange, and celebrated the listing of Thailand’s pioneering sustainability bond. The sustainability bond, which is worth THB 50 billion (approximately EUR 1.3 billion), is displayed on the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX), the world’s leading platform for sustainable securities.

“As the world continues to deal with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, sovereign sustainability bonds, such as the one we welcome to LuxSE and LGX today, are crucial to securing a sustainable recovery in countries affected by the crisis. It is our great honour to be chosen as the international listing venue by Thailand, and we look forward to contributing to enhancing the visibility of the Thai sustainable finance market on the global stage,” commented Julie Becker, CEO of LuxSE and Founder of LGX.

Rebuilding sustainably

In August 2020, Thailand became one of the first sovereigns in the world to issue a sustainability bond. The 15-year inaugural bond issuance paved the way for two more tranches of the bond in the following months, bringing the total amount raised to THB 50 billion. The first and third tranches of Thailand’s sustainability bond finance clean infrastructure projects such as the construction of the Bangkok MRT Orange line, while the second tranche raised financing for public health expenditures and support to small and medium-sized enterprises hit hard by the pandemic.

“The issuance of Sustainability Bonds shows Thailand’s continuous commitment to deal with climate change following the Paris Agreement and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals to combat poverty, inequality and environmental degradation by 2030. We strongly believe that the issuance of Sustainability Bonds by Thailand will contribute to the development of the sustainable finance market domestically as well as internationally, and foster international partnership towards sustainable development,” said Thailand’s Minister of Finance, Mr Arkom Termpittayapaisith.

Award-winning labelled bond

The sustainability bond was issued under the Kingdom of Thailand’s Sustainable Finance Framework, published in July 2020, and received a second party opinion from Sustainalytics. The bond is aligned with international standards for sustainability bonds and was named Asia Domestic Bond of the Year at the IFR Asia awards 2020. The bond was initially listed on Thailand’s Bond Electronic Exchange and the sovereign issuer is now opting for a dual listing on LuxSE to strengthen access to the international investor community.

“The listing of the Kingdom of Thailand’s sovereign sustainability bond on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange underlines the good cooperation that exists between Luxembourg and Thailand. Thailand was a pioneer in issuing a sustainable bond framework last year and Luxembourg followed in its footsteps shortly after. I would like to congratulate Thailand for choosing Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange as its international listing venue,” stated Luxembourg Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna.

First Thai issuer on LGX

By bringing its sustainability bond to LuxSE, the Kingdom of Thailand also becomes the first Thai issuer to display a security on LGX since the platform was launched in September 2016.

As of March 2021, LGX displays over 960 green, social, sustainability and sustainability-linked bonds totalling more than EUR 480 billion, including sovereign bonds issued by Luxembourg, Poland, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico. This also marks the first listing from a Thai issuer on LuxSE since 2001, giving the parties additional reasons to celebrate.

©Luxembourg Stock Exchange
Luxembourg plans to boost technology investment

24 February 2021

Diversification is “crucial, especially for a smaller economy like ours that is open to the world”, Mr. Gramegna, the Minister of Finance, says. But innovation within existing sectors is as important as branching out into new ones, he adds. “We have tried to diversify by building on our existing strengths. Our steel industry has not disappeared. We are still a major producer of specialised steel.”

When one quarter of your economy depends on financial services you want to diversify. But because the financial sector has adjusted so well, modernised, reinvented itself, it has kept pace with the endeavours and investments in other sectors.” The minister says as soon as he took over the finance portfolio seven and half years ago he identified the potential of financial technology for Luxembourg. “And when I started talking about that people in the country looked at me in surprise. What is he talking about? Why is he not talking about banks and investment funds? Today I think everybody has integrated the importance of fintech in transforming financial services.”

The government set up a public-private fintech accelerator, the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, with some 80 companies and a similar number of affiliated ones. New technology ventures are seeking to build on niche sectors where Luxembourg is already a strong player, such as fund management, regulatory compliance and insurance. 

Lead the story in Financial Times published in February 2021.

A Luxembourg mobile operator has developed technology that can identify scams

23 February 2021

The Luxembourg’s telecoms sector has produced a tool to fight cyber attacks over telecoms networks, including suspicious text messages sent to defraud consumers.

The software, which monitors telecoms networks for signs of intrusion, was developed by Cyberforce, a division of Post Luxembourg, the country’s integrated telecoms, financial services and post office company. Though it was initially created to protect Post Luxembourg’s own banking and telecoms customers — including EU institutions such as the European Court of Justice and the European Investment Bank — Cyberforce is now selling the tool to external customers, including larger peers in the telecoms sector. Cyberforce, which was launched in 2018, is a product of the tiny market that Post Luxembourg serves. For small telecoms companies like Post Luxembourg, the only way to grow is to develop innovative new services that they can sell to larger peers. The need to find new sources of revenue became more pressing after Reding’s clampdown, which hit operators in small countries dependent on tourism and business travellers hard.

Lead the story in Financial Times published in February 2021.

Luxembourg wants to turn hydrogen green

22 February 2021

Hydrogen is often seen as a source of clean energy. But most of the world’s supply of this potentially plentiful gas, which can be used to power everything from cars to heating systems, is produced with energy from fossil fuels. Now, with backing from the EU, Luxembourg has joined the hunt for fossil-free technologies for hydrogen production. 

Lead the story in Financial Times published in February 2021.

Luxembourg space programme to work with Nasa on moon mining

19 February 2021

Luxembourg first emerged as a potential space power five years ago. In February 2016, the Grand Duchy launched its Space Resources programme, a project to prepare for the future use of extraterrestrial minerals, water and gases to provide energy and materials for human activities beyond Earth.

Lead the story in Financial Times published in February 2021.

Luxembourg's grand plan for an advanced digital society

18 February 2021

Luxembourg is setting itself the task of becoming one of the world’s most advanced digital societies. Policymakers are putting together what they hope will be a winning formula that combines government-led research and private sector initiative.

Lead the story in Financial Times published in February 2021.

LUXEMBOURG BETS ON SUPERCOMPUTERS 

17 February 2021

MeluXina is funded jointly by the EU, and the Luxembourg government. Once completed, 35 per cent of MeluXina's capacity will support other HPC projects in 33 different European countries (including the UK), and be used free of charge. 

Lead story in Financial Times in February 2021.

Technology Made in Luxembourg making self-disinfecting face masks to fight against Covid-19

27 January 2021

Molecular Plasma Group (MPG) has developed a unique technology based on the use of plasma to optimise the protection of "made in Luxembourg" surgical face masks against COVID-19. MPG has perfected a surface treatment technology and made it compatible with industrial production of "made in Luxembourg" surgical masks, in collaboration with Santé Services SA and a German company. The co-financing of the project is based on the aid scheme of the Ministry of Economy which supports industrial research and experimental development projects allowing the production and development of products contributing to combat the health crisis linked to COVID-19.

Read the full article published by the Ministry of the Economy (Dec. 2020)

European Space Resources Innovation Center to be established in Luxembourg

21 January 2021

Luxembourg just entered a strategic partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) to create a "European Space Resources Innovation Centre", called ESRIC in abbreviated form. Unique of its kind, ESRIC aims to become an internationally recognised centre of expertise for scientific, technical, business and economic aspects related to the use of space resources for human and robotic exploration, as well as for a future in-space economy.

Based in Luxembourg, ESRIC will partner with public and private international players in this field to create a hub of excellence for space resources in Europe. The creation of ESRIC was part of the Luxembourg government initiative SpaceResources.lu launched in 2016 to establish an ecosystem favorable to the development of activities related to the exploration and use of space resources.

ESRIC's activities will focus on space resources research and development, drawing together excellence from public research and its facilities, with private sector initiative and efficiency. The centre will also contribute to economic growth by supporting commercial initiatives and start-ups, offering a business incubation component and enabling technology transfer between space and non-space industries.

Read the full article from the Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs.

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Luxembourg & Belgium Day in Thailand

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To mark Luxembourg & Belgium Day in Thailand, the two Embassies joined the BeLuThai Chamber of commerce on 27th of November 2020 for a full day of exciting company visits!

The day started early with a visit to Theptex Co., a manufacturer of pure natural latex cores specializing in tailoring entirely to the needs of its customers, before delighting in the sweet treats of Gallothai Co., founded in 1993 by a Belgian emigrant with the conviction of bringing the taste of real Belgian chocolate to Thai consumers. After lunch, the BeLuThai members visited Guardian Industries, a leading worldwide manufacturer of float glass and fabricated glass products for the commercial and residential construction industries as well as for the automotive industry and whose Europe & Asia Headquarter is located in Luxembourg. The day ended successfully with a Multi-Chamber Networking Night hosted by BeLuThai at the Royal Varuna Yatch Club in Pattaya.

What did we learn? Businesses have been severely hit by the pandemic, but in crisis there is also opportunity: innovation, diversification and access to e-commerce platforms have in many ways been key to survival and success.

Technical cooperation between Thailand and Luxembourg

21 October 2020

The Luxembourgish and Thai development cooperation agencies LuxDev and TICA joined forces to deepen and widen the existing technical cooperation between Thailand and Luxembourg. Luxembourg firmly believes in the potential of South-South and triangular cooperation to act as an accelerator and multiplier of sustainable development. Such country-led collaborations are an effective tool to share knowledge, skills and successful initiatives between like-minded partners.

Based on the mutual needs and interests identified during a joint mission to Lao PDR in November 2019, LuxDev and TICA signed a Letter of Understanding with a specific focus on human resource development and the ambition to establish a long-term collaborative partnership. As a first concrete step, the agencies agreed to combine their respective and complementary technical expertise in the area of public health. Recognized worldwide for the quality of its own healthcare services and system, Thailand is considered to be a natural partner in this regard.

The collaboration between LuxDev and TICA will also seek to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of projects and programs in the fiels of local and rural development as well as technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

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