From May 8th to May 12th, 2023, H.R.H. the Crown Prince of Luxembourg presided over a working visit to California led by Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot. The purpose of the visit was to strengthen economic ties and explore opportunities for collaboration between Luxembourg and California, particularly in the fields of space, autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and clean technologies.
The visit began in San Francisco, where the delegation had a packed schedule of meetings and visits. They started with a visit to the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, a prestigious institution focused on educating future leaders in sustainable development. Discussions revolved around the potential for research collaborations in the field of space resources.
The delegation also met with Nvidia, a global leader in high-performance graphics cards and artificial intelligence. Since 2019, Nvidia has been working with Luxembourg through a joint research laboratory on AI.
They discussed the utilization of Luxembourg’s supercomputer, MeluXina, for complex and high-performance computing needs.
Another significant visit was to Weride, a prominent player in the autonomous driving industry. The delegation experienced a test drive in one of Weride’s autonomous vehicles, highlighting the company’s technological expertise.
Networking events were organized with the Luxembourg Space Agency, where Luxembourg’s new space strategy was presented to key stakeholders in the Bay Area ecosystem.
On May 9th, the program for the second day in San Francisco was dominated by promising meetings with nZero and Fifth Wall, followed by a meeting with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
nZero, has developed a solution for aggregating and analyzing energy consumption data across various forms of energy in a company.
The aim is to optimize investment performance and promote decarbonization.
nZero recently opened a branch in Luxembourg and plans to develop it as their headquarters for the EMEA region.
Fifth Wall is a major venture capital firm that invests in technology companies addressing issues such as climate change, aging buildings and infrastructure, and housing accessibility.
The delegation then had a meeting with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a public-private think tank dedicated to promoting a competitive economy in California and the San Francisco Bay Area. The discussions revolved around an ongoing report on the economic links between Luxembourg and Silicon Valley, which the think tank is currently working on.
At the end of the day, an official reception was organized to celebrate “Europe Day,” with the participation of Eleni Kounalakis, Lieutenant Governor of California, Gerard de Graaf, Head of the EU office in San Francisco, and the San Francisco diplomatic corps.
The visit continued in Los Angeles, where Minister Franz Fayot pursued further engagements. Honeybee Robotics, a space robotics company recently acquired by Blue Origin, hosted discussions on possible synergies within the Spaceresources.lu initiative.
Offworld, a company specializing in autonomous mining robots, also received the delegation. They discussed opportunities for expanding Offworld’s presence in Luxembourg, particularly in light of the LuxImpulse program.
The visit to Infinite Reality provided an opportunity to explore potential partnerships and collaborations in the realm of immersive technologies, aligning with Luxembourg’s strategic focus on data innovation and cybersecurity. Initial exchanges with the SnT (Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability, and Trust) in the metaverse field, a new priority for the company, are promising, and CEO John Acunto will be present in Luxembourg for ICT Spring 2023.
Airtech, a long-standing American company with a presence in Luxembourg, was also on the itinerary. The delegation learned about Airtech’s activities in vacuum bagging materials and resin production for 3D printing.
The visit continued with Avery Dennison, a global leader in labeling and packaging materials.
The delegation witnessed the company’s achievements in energy consumption reduction at their facility in Rodange, Luxembourg.
The final stop was at SpaceX‘s headquarters in Hawthorne, where the delegation toured the production hall and received presentations on the latest developments related to Falcon9, Starlink, and Starship. Discussions focused on SpaceX’s future ambitions for lunar and Mars exploration, particularly in connection with space resources.
© photo credit Barak Shrama photography