The jury of the Paperjam Recovery Awards handed out its awards at a gala evening in the Athénée de Luxembourg, in the presence of economy minister Franz Fayot (LSAP). Composed of Emmanuel Gay (Resultance), Laurent Lucius (House of Entrepreneurship), Nobby Brausch (Spuerkeess) and Barbara Grau (Luxinnovation), the jury made its choice among 16 nominees - four per category - who had been selected from the 52 applications received.
So Graphiste, in the Solidarity category
Once upon a time, there was a little chameleon named Léon. Then, “the story goes on”. This is the name that the small communications agency (two full-time staff, one part-time) gave to its children's book. It all started in the middle of lockdown with a scene, written, illustrated and then published on Facebook. Internet users imagined what would happen next, which the agency illustrated. The result is a complete story, published as a children's book. An investment of €15,000 was then made by So Graphiste to publish the story. The profit of €3,078, collected through the sale of the book, was donated to the association Natur&Ëmwelt in March 2021. The company has continued its momentum and published volume 2, the profits of which will this time be donated to the association SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde. It is now considering a third volume.
Michel Greco, in the Resilience category
Since 1987, the Luxembourg transport company has seen many crises. The last one, linked to covid-19, forced it to reorganise. Instead of delivering to customers' premises, it had to set up new routes throughout the country to reach their homes. It adapted to the demand for fresh produce by creating its Fresh service. It required the acquisition of a dozen refrigerated trucks and a refrigerated storage unit, for an investment of “over €100,000”. It carried out all deliveries to Letzshop and those of masks or antigenic tests to the ministry of health. The company, which has 300 employees, used to work between 6am and 7pm, and now provides a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week service. It also hired about 15 people, who are still on the job. And to meet customer demand, the company, which has a turnover of €16m, has set up a tracking tool that allows customers to follow their parcels.
BDO Luxembourg, in the Digitalisation category
The accounting and auditing firm had to continue serving its clients during the crisis. The solution: digitalisation. Work was already underway in this area, but covid-19 accelerated it. Overnight, documents were exchanged with clients via BDOs’ digital collaboration platform. Employees started using electronic signatures. The company also took advantage of the crisis to digitalise certain production processes at a business level. For example, the firm has acquired tools for the automatic reconciliation of general ledger entries with factors or bank statements, or for the automation of VAT services. The dedicated budget is around €2m for the company of 500 employees. The 71-year-old company had a turnover of €60.2m in 2020. It is still working on the deployment of a document management solution whereby all incoming documents will be saved and filed.
Santé Services, in the Innovation category
Without the shortages of masks experienced at the start of the crisis, this subsidiary of the Robert Schuman Hospitals, which has specialised in products and services for health establishments since 2001, might never have thought of launching its own production. However, it did so at the end of August 2020. It has acquired several machines at a cost of €1.63m, 83% of which was covered by state subsidies, and has already produced more than €13m pieces, both surgical and FFP2. It received the Innovation Prize for one product in particular: its surgical masks, which are enhanced with a virucide to prevent contamination by touching them, produced in collaboration with Molecular Plasma Group (MPG). The company, which has 55 employees, recorded a turnover of €20.49m in 2020.
Qualities to bounce back
To decide between the candidates in the Solidarity category, the jury looked at the proportion of effort in relation to size and the societal impact for the Luxembourg ecosystem. For the Resilience category, it looked at the adaptability, originality and sustainability of the project. The degree of digitalisation, the degree of impact on the customer experience and the degree of impact on internal efficiency were taken into account in the Digitalisation category. For Innovation, the jury looked at the degree of innovation, the importance of the project in relation to the health crisis and its impact on the country.
“Whoever the winners are, they are representative of the entire Luxembourg economy,” said economy minister Franz Fayot (LSAP) at the start of the ceremony. “The four qualities honoured today (solidarity, innovation, resilience and digitalisation, editor's note) must be implemented to get out of this crisis and bounce back.”
“Together, we will move the world forward to make it a better place than it is now,” he added.
The winners will be highlighted in January's Paperjam magazine.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.