Initiated by the pandemic, 2020 saw an unprecedented boost of digitalisation, with ICT services becoming an even more essential part of our daily lives. Science and technology stepped up to the plate, with numerous COVID-19 vaccines being developed at record speed.
We have all faced a very different reality this year than what we considered normal, so it’s with great pride I reflect on our progress this year even in the face of such adversity. Several SnT scientists quickly mobilised to initiate and contribute to multiple COVID-19 research projects. This saw them develop software that predicted and modelled the spread of infection, and technology to analyse social distancing. Seeing so many of our scientists step up and go well beyond their normal tasks has been reassuring in these unusual times.
Our Partnership Programme continued to thrive in 2020, welcoming nine new partners and 20 new partnership projects. Highlights include research advancements in 5G capabilities with SES, supported by a substantial and long-term FNR – IPBG grant, as well as bringing research and doctoral education to support Luxembourg’s development work in West Africa with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We acquired two new ERC/H2020 grants, bringing our overall total to five. These endeavours have reinforced our impact in Luxembourg and increased our international visibility.
To meet the demand for research collaboration with SnT, we launched six new research groups and appointed seven faculty members while starting 50 projects supported by our main funding agencies FNR, EU and ESA. We also produced our fifth spin-off – Databourg – and first one in the space sector.
Finally, we acquired a record-breaking €32.6 million euros in competitive research funding. These projects will enable us to recruit more talent for our growing centre, and keep delivering fresh innovations into both local and global industries over the coming years.
We are guided by the principle that excellent scientific research can address the most pressing challenges society faces, and support industry in developing solutions.
This foundation defines our set-up. We have a partnership model that enables truly
collaborative exchanges, allowing us to have access to relevant challenges, real-world data, and systems to test our research results. This approach creates a lively ecosystem that feeds the local talent pool, and supports the local economy.
Our Partnership Programme continued to expand in 2020, now featuring 56 members. We work with both public and private organisations in Luxembourg and around the world.
Our researchers regularly develop exciting new solutions for real-world challenges. That is why we launched the research Acceleration Programme in 2019, which delivers a structured process to support our aspiring entrepreneurs. Its mission is to encourage scientists to pursue the commercialisation of their innovative ideas.
SnT currently has five spin-offs: