Luxembourg’s central location and multilingual and multicultural environment makes the country an ideal location for accessing the fast-growing European market for clean technologies and solutions. This is why Luxinnovation works closely with the Ministry of the Economy to develop the cleantech sector and attract new ventures that can complement the existing ecosystem.

The Nordic countries are of particular interest. “They were among the first to invest in cleantech,” says Georges Schaaf, Head of International Business Development – CleanTech & Manufacturing Industry at Luxinnovation. “As a result, they are home to a high concentration of the best clean technologies, and we believe that Luxembourg would be an excellent host country for many of these companies that want to reach out to the European market.”

This is a win-win situation based on trust and collaboration.

This strategy is part of Luxembourg’s overall ambition to create an eco-system that is conducive to environmental technologies and particularly to the circular economy. “We offer an interesting entry market for Nordic companies that will fill technological gaps by joining forces with local players, while at the same time taking advantage of the country as a platform to develop their activities in central Europe”, says Christian Tock, Director Sustainable Technologies at the Ministry of the Economy. “This is a win-win situation based on trust and collaboration.”

Facilitating expansion

Luxinnovation targets Nordic firms that want to expand their business beyond their home countries and establish a presence abroad in order to scale up their activities. After identifying the potential for a mutually beneficial collaboration, a relationship was established with Cleantech Scandinavia, a Nordic renowned provider and promoter of clean technologies. “Cleantech Scandinavia federates all the best companies, and the team has inside knowledge about which companies are looking for a new foothold abroad to continue growing,” explains Mr Schaaf.

There is potential for industrial and R&D partnerships with the Luxembourg ecosystem and also for attracting funding from this capital-intensive region.

For Magnus Agerström, Cleantech Scandinavia’s Managing Director, Luxembourg is a strategic location for Nordic companies aiming to grow in Europe due to its proximity to the French, German, Belgian and Dutch markets. “There is potential for industrial and R&D partnerships with the Luxembourg ecosystem and also for attracting funding from this capital-intensive region. Luxembourg companies could also benefit from the work we do to reach the Nordic and Baltic markets,” he points out.

Nordic hub

Georges Schaaf hopes to see Luxembourg become a new hub for expanding Nordic cleantech firms. “With the open borders, the immediate home market of a company located in Luxembourg extends to the 11.5 million inhabitants in the Greater Region,” he says. “The start-up ecosystem helps new companies become part of the national network. Being located in a small, very cosmopolitan country that uses English as the common business language also makes it easy for companies to keep their unique ‘Nordic DNA’.”

Magnus Agerström shares his hopes of seeing some Nordic companies expand through Europe from Luxembourg. “We would also like to see Luxembourg becoming an investment hub for cleantech start-ups and are interested in discussing how we can contribute to the efforts to steer capital in this direction,” he says. “In addition, we aim to provide a platform for exchange on smart cities, a field where Luxembourg and the Nordic countries could inspire and learn from each other.”

This article was originally published in Luxinnovation’s Annual Report 2018.