April 2017 photo shows Etienne Schneider with former Nasa chief Simon Pete Worden visiting Space Systems Loral in the US
Photo: Sip/Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/archives
Companies active in the new space sector in Luxembourg can benefit from financial support for research thanks to the creation of a space research fund.
Funding body the FNR signed an agreement with economy minister Etienne Schneider on Tuesday. The programme would support research in the commercial space industry in Luxembourg which is carried out in collaboration between public research institutions and Luxembourg-based companies.
To be eligible for funding, projects must meet the country’s space vision.
The news comes ahead of the opening of Luxembourg’s Space Agency on 12 September, an agency which aims to attract new business and talent and provide support.
The agency is the next chapter in Luxembourg’s space sector diversification, a strategy which was first developed when satellite operators SES settled in Luxembourg in the 1980s. Since the ministry launched the space resources initiative in 2016, focusing on the peaceful exploration and exploitation of minerals mined in space, it has attracted several new space operators and it hopes they will be the first of many.
“Since the 1980s, a strong R&D culture and cross-sector co-operation has been key to a thriving ecosystem that stimulates innovation and accelerates the evolution of business in space,” Schneider said in a press release, adding: “The new research programme will further encourage local space business players to team up with Luxembourg’s research community to develop competencies and talent for a burgeoning space sector.”