Luxembourg Boosts Defence Innovation With €13.8m R&D Investment

Yuriko Backes, defence minister (© MAEE)

On 18 March 2024, Yuriko Backes, minister for defence, Lex Delles, economy minister, and Stéphanie Obertin, minister for research and higher education, launched a joint call for research and development (R&D) projects in the field of defence.

Luxembourg is ramping up its investments in defence innovation with a €13.8 million budget allocated from 2025 through 2027. This funding, spearheaded by the Directorate of Defence in collaboration with various ministries and research organisations, aims to bolster the country’s research and development efforts, especially in areas with dual-use capabilities for civilians and military purposes. 

“This call for projects represents an excellent opportunity to promote collaboration between companies and research centres and will give rise to innovative projects that will benefit both the economy and its sustainability as well as defence and society.”

Lex Delles, economy minister.

Rise in R&D spending

One notable aspect of the initiative is the significant increase in R&D spending compared to 2022 – the Directorate of Defence has more than quadrupled the investment, reaching €24.1 million in 2024. This boost underscores Luxembourg’s commitment to fostering innovation within its defence sector and aligns with the European Union’s directive to invest at least 2% of national defence efforts in R&D projects. 

This project is centred around three key themes: Smart mobility, resilience, strategic foresight, and climate change adaptation. These themes reflect the country’s unique economic landscape along with its research capabilities. The objective is to advance defence technologies and create synergies with other sectors, promoting economic growth and sustainability. 

Furthermore, the aim is to support Luxembourg’s industry integration with the EU’s defence value chain and access NATO markets. By positioning national players as pioneers in specific technological niches, Luxembourg seeks to enhance its presence in the global defence market and foster a thriving defence community. 

“With this call, we will be encouraging research and the development of innovative defence projects in Luxembourg. We will support our national companies and research centres and help them to access EU and NATO markets and production chains,” 

Yuriko Backes, Minister for defence.

Luxinnovation collaborates

Luxinnovation has launched an online platform to facilitate the submission of project ideas and provide support to interested parties. From April 15 2024 to June 14 2024, companies and public research bodies can submit their proposal for consideration. 

Additionally, Luxinnovation will host an information session via webinar to further assist potential participants in navigating the call for projects. 

In a nutshell, Luxembourg’s increased investment in defence innovation underscores its commitment to technological advancement and economic growth. Defence research often yields civilian spin-offs, highlighting the potential for technologies funded by civilian research programs to enhance cutting-edge systems and growth.

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