Czech-Luxembourg Technology Days
Luxembourg is part of the eurozone since 1999. Luxembourg's stable, high-income economy features moderate growth, low inflation, and low unemployment. The industrial sector, which was dominated until the 1960s by steel, has diversified to include chemicals, rubber, and other products. During the past decades, growth in the financial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Services, especially banking and other financial exports, account for the majority of economic output. Luxembourg is the world's second largest investment fund center (after the USA), the most important private banking center in the Eurozone and Europe's leading center for reinsurance companies. Luxembourg possesses the highest GDP per capita in the world (US$87,995 as of 2006), the eighteenth highest Human Development Index, and the fourth highest rated in the quality of life index.
Research in Luxembourg
Throughout their formative years all four of these institutes oriented primarily towards applied research in areas important for product and service development in Luxembourg’s industry and which gave them a competitive edge with other countries. Research and development in high-tec areas such as IT and biotechnology, considered essential in other European countries, were only prioritised at a much later stage.
Foresight and Definition of Priority Areas for R&D in Luxembourg
In a small country like Luxembourg, research needs to focus on a limited number of priority domains in which critical mass may be reached. At the beginning of 2006 the National Research Fund (FNR) conducted the Foresight study, aimed at identifying which research domains should be prioritised both short and long term within the public sector that were of socio-economic interest to Luxembourg society.
From the results of the Foresight exercise the extensive new FNR programme ‘CORE’ was implemented, whose prime objective is to foster scientific quality in the identified priority areas (see section Research Policy Goals in Brief). A substantial budget of more than 20 million EUR per call has been allocated to this programme, for which annual calls are scheduled until 2010, the first launched in 2008.