Backes signed a partnership agreement with the University of Luxembourg to support the creation of the Finnovation Hub with education minister Claude Meisch (DP) also in attendance. The project will be headed by industry expert and honorary SnT professor Jean Hilger.
“The Finnovation Hub will be assisting the financial sector in further embracing cutting-edge technology – with a view to improve efficiency of processes, reforming business models and advancing digital services, to shape the financial industry of tomorrow,” said Hilger.
The main goal of the Finnovation Hub will be identifying key areas to advance the digital transformation of Luxembourg’s financial institutions. It will be supported in its work by SnT researchers to develop new technologies. The university's research centre leverages advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, data analytics and distributed-ledger technologies, to enhance competition in the financial sector.
“Emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology such as blockchain and quantum computing, bring new opportunities, as well as new challenges for the financial sector. This rapid digitalisation has been further spurred by the pandemic. The Finnovation Hub, supported by the Ministry of Finance, fuels research activities aimed at solving challenges in the financial services sector and will facilitate the transfer of innovative technology to both the public and private sector,” said Backes.
In October 2021 former finance minister Pierre Gramegna (DP) announced the plans to set up the Finnovation Hub. At the time he said it would cost €8.2m over the next ten years.
This latest partnership agreement signals further commitment from the government on research and innovation.
“The Luxembourg government has made research and innovation the cornerstones of its vision for the country's future,” said Meisch. “This initiative, supported by the Ministry of Finance, is fully in line with the government's program and above all, with its national research and innovation strategy.”
At the start of the year funding agreements worth €1.7bn were signed with the University of Luxembourg and other research institutions. Luxinnovation--the grand duchy's agency responsible for national innovation--published its strategy for 2022-2025 in January, which aims to help equip itself, the country’s companies and the national economy with digital transformation and climate change challenges.