Sasha Baillie heads Luxembourg’s national innovation agency since 2018. She was previously a Luxembourg diplomat and the deputy chief of staff at the Ministry of the Economy and remains an adviser to the Minister. She managed the reform of Luxembourg’s economic promotion structures which led to the creation of the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Board. She also chaired the country’s Trade and Investment Steering Committee.
Can you present Luxinnovation in a few words?
Luxinnovation is the national innovation agency, a public private partnership between the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Skilled Crafts and FEDIL. Since its inception in 1984, the agency has steadily expanded its offering to meet the changing needs of businesses across multiple sectors, all while pursuing its dual mission of empowering companies to innovate and stimulating the development of a sustainable, digital, and competitive economy. The agency supports companies of all sizes and in all sectors in their efforts to innovate in order to maintain their competitive edge. We work with a range of key sectors – automotive, cleantech, creative industries, healthtech, materials & manufacturing and wood – and encourage cross-sector cooperation. We also facilitate collaborative projects with research bodies and international partners, and help companies tap into national and European funding to realize their ambitions. Through our Digital Innovation Hub and our Sustainability Innovation Hub, we also support companies to become more digital and sustainable through innovation.
"When companies decide to launch innovative projects, they should be aware that they are not alone."
What is your strategy in the next five years?
Last year, Luxinnovation launched it’s 2022-2025 strategy that sets out 7 strategic objectives aimed at companies individually as well as at the economic ecosystem that we support, and our internal operations. These priorities, which are put into action in our daily business, aim to help Luxembourg companies raise their competitiveness through innovation and research and to facilitate digitally enabled and sustainable economic development. We also want to set the standard for what it means to be a data-driven and human-centric organisation ourselves and interconnect our staff members with our ecosystem at all levels. The strategy is based on the input of all Luxinnovation’s teams and aligned with relevant national, European, and global strategies.
What challenges and opportunities do you identify for the Luxembourg innovation sector?
Developing and implementing new digital technologies is crucial for virtually all companies in Luxembourg that want to become more sustainable, cost-effective, and competitive. The challenge, which also represents a huge opportunity, is to ensure that the digital and sustainable transformation takes place across the board, from SMEs to larger companies and across all sectors. Our initiatives, which span from the Circular by Design Challenge, our Fit 4 Start accelerator programme, our Digital Innovation Hub to our “Fit 4” performance programmes as well as the support we provide companies to find R&D and innovation funding, are all focused on this goal in many different ways. When companies decide to launch innovative projects, they should be aware that they are not alone. Luxinnovation is their first point of contact, and we are fully committed to ensuring that their innovative ideas become reality and will transform and strengthen our economy.