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“The research environment has changed and the stakes are high,” according to Marc Lemmer, chief innovation and strategy officer of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology.
Governments across Europe (and the world) are looking to “innovation” for an economic boost, and are increasingly looking to research and technology organisations, such as LIST, to provide the catalyst. RTOs are, for the most part, publically funded research centres that have the aim of producing technology that can be transferred to the private sector.
“The logic behind RTOs is largely unknown but the bridges between academia and industry are there, with public-private partnerships, accelerated market processes, the vitality of technology transfer,” stated Lemmer.
Next week Luxembourg hosts the first combined annual conferences of the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations and of the European Industrial Research Management Association, a trade group for private sector research outfits. The goal is to map out “infrastructure and resource sharing” possibilities between the RTOs and firms across the continent.
LIST (the result of the merger between the Gabriel Lippmann and Henri Tudor public research centres at the beginning of the year) is hosting the confab, giving the Grand Duchy’s R&D sector (which represents 7% of national GDP) a moment to shine.
“Luxembourg has a unique position in the field,” Lemmer said in an interview. “We have the youngest university in Europe, a very dynamic environment, a clear willingness to invest.”
The conference takes place Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 April at the Alvisse Parc Hotel in Luxembourg-Dommeldange.
Reported by Alain Ducat and Aaron Grunwald