Two Luxembourg-related start-ups were among the winners of Space Exploration Masters, an international competition aiming to identify and reward technology-transfer business successes and business innovation ideas for space exploration. The awards were handed out in Luxembourg on 16 November 2017 at NewSpace Europe, the first European conference fully devoted to commercial space activities.

Launched on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA), the Space Exploration Masters targeted participants from all over the world. A total of seven prizes were handed out in collaboration with international partners, including two awards supported by the Luxembourg government.


An innovative electric propulsion system for small satellites

Engineering start-up Hypernova Space Technologies was the winner of the “Luxembourg Prize – LuxIMPULSE Award”. Hypernova is developing a new class of affordable and safe propulsion systems for micro- and nanosatellites. For fuel, its innovative technology uses stable elements that are abundant in asteroids. The long-term ambition is to enable in-space services, deep-space exploration and the gathering of space resources.

“Hypernova’s advanced prototype of a plasma thruster struck a chord because it is a technology with a proven track record that neatly fits into Luxembourg’s dynamic space ecosystem, including our new initiative,” said Marc Serres, Director of Space Affairs at the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy. Through the award, Hypernova receives support for a study to be carried out under the Luxembourg national space programme LuxIMPULSE that is managed by ESA with a maximum contract value of €400,000. The prize also includes hosting in one of Luxembourg’s incubator. Created by an international team, Hypernova is in the process of setting up operations in Luxembourg.


Solar energy for space and the Earth

Luxembourg-based Maana Electric develops scalable solar panel production facilities and aims to be the first utility company to service clients anywhere in the solar system. Using materials that can be found in desert sand and a completely emission-free process, Maana Elecric’s solar panels will be available at a price that is 60% below that of conventional solar farms. With its TerraBox, it aims to power 10 million homes on Earth by 2030. Its LunaBox is able to produce 1 megawatt of capacity per year on the Moon while also generating breathable oxygen.

Maana Electric was the winner of the “Luxembourg Prize – SpaceStarters Award” handed out by the Luxembourg government together with crowd-investing platform SpaceStarters. “Maana Electric convinced the jury with its phased approach to demonstrate its technology and business case on Earth before taking the innovative solar technology into space,” commented Marc Serres and Uli W. Fricke, CEO of FunderNation and operator of SpaceStarters. Maana Electric won €30,000 of services to prepare the launch of a crowd-investing campaign with SpaceStarters as well as a place in one of Luxembourg’s incubators.

Space Exploration Masters is aligned with the goals of ESA’s Space Exploration Strategy and looks for innovative and disruptive business cases that match at least one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: zero hunger, good health and well-being, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and so on. A new edition will be organised in 2018.

Read more

Year-on-year inflation lowest in Luxembourg


Luxembourg recorded the lowest annual inflation rate in member states in January 2023, according to the figures published on 23 February by the statistical office of the European Union, Eurostat. The flash estimates for February released on 2 March also show that Luxembourg maintained the eurozone’s lowest inflation record.
Read more

New healthtech business developer joins Luxinnovation


The international business development team at national innovation agency Luxinnovation informs and guides international companies considering Luxembourg as a potential location for their European offices. On 1 March 2023, Régis Ciré joined the team and took on the role of supporting healthtech businesses.
Read more

Mission to Latvia presents potential business opportunities


A high-level business delegation comprising of 20 Luxembourg companies participated in the three-day official trade mission to Latvia, where an intensive economic and business programme was unpacked, with over 90 B2B meetings taking place on the side-lines. Luxinnovation’s Head of International Relations, Jenny Hällen Hedberg, underscored the effective collaboration between the organisers of the mission and key areas of interest that were identified as a result of interactions between Luxembourg-Latvian counterparts.
Read more

How to succeed with your expansion into Europe: the experts’ top tips


Some success factors for international companies wanting to expand into the European market are quite obvious: having the right product/market fit and an offering that suits the culture and behaviour of European customers and finding the right business partners, for example. Others are less evident, but can be at least as important. We put together 9 key points from Luxembourg-based experts with decades of experience of advising international businesses about their entry to Europe.
Read more

Fortress, history, identity


Art and history lovers can find their heart’s desire in Luxembourg City by walking along the so-called MuseumSmile, which is home to no less than seven museums.
Read more

Resources all news