Luxembourg has drawn up a formal national research strategy defining how Luxembourg’s scientific ecosystem should develop over the next 10 years and in which areas investment should be concentrated.
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 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, Minister of Higher Education and Research
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
Where to invest?
At the top level, the national research and innovation strategy defines four research priority areas, which have emerged to be of particular importance for the societal, ecological and economic development of the country.
These areas are not considered as being distinct and independent from each other but as areas that mutually influence each other, so that the sub-themes that define each area can also have ramifications into other areas.
The implementation of the research strategy will therefore put a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary projects, which take into account that each of the four broad research priority areas will benefit from results and projects situated in one or more of the other areas.
The four chosen research priority areas should guarantee that beyond a development of its GDP, Luxembourg can warrant for a continuous and sustainable development of the well-being of its population, including notably health, environmental and educational factors.
The role of artificial intelligence – Luxembourg as a living laboratory for the use of AI
The present strategy fully subscribes to the artificial intelligence strategy of the Government. Artificial intelligence is considered as a key enabling technology that will be used in each of the main four research priority areas. In line with the national strategy on artificial intelligence, Luxembourg has the ambition to scale AI for selected use cases at country level (for example in the fields of personalised healthcare or personalised education) and to become a living laboratory, showcasing how this technology can be used at country-level for the benefit of societal development. As a small country, Luxembourg can benefit in this context from its size and its ability to scale up more rapidly than larger countries, in order to become internationally visible as a frontrunner for the implementation of this disruptive technology. Moreover, Luxembourg can contribute to the elaboration of the standards of tomorrow by developing a legal framework for the use of AI based on ethical principles and by testing its implementation.
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. 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.