The ability to transition to a more sustainable energy consumption and to the use of renewable energy sources is central for developing a competitively sustainable economy – a key objective of the Luxembourg government.

Research capacities are essential for developing the new solutions needed to succeed. Luxinnovation has therefore recently conducted a study of the research capacities in the field of the energy transition at Luxembourg’s public research centres.

Luxembourg’s research landscape for a sustainable energy transition

The mapping of energy transition research capacities covers research groups that focus on energy topics such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart grids. It also includes research groups that work on areas indirectly linked to energy, such as materials, process engineering, mobility and human behaviour.

We were pleasantly surprised with the number which, for a small country like Luxembourg, is quite high.

To identify the relevant research groups, the Luxinnovation team analysed open source information and exchanged directly with the three research centres involved in the field: the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and the University of Luxembourg.

Energy transition research capacities mapping by Luxinnovation

In total, 87 research groups involved in the field were identified. “We were pleasantly surprised with the number which, for a small country like Luxembourg, is quite high,” says Luxinnovation’s Market Intelligence Analyst Julie Gaspar. “It shows that there is a real focus on the topic here.”

Six main fields of energy transition expertise

The study revealed that the current research capacities are concentrated in six main areas of expertise, which highlight the strength of the ecosystem.

A considerable number of research groups work in the fields of energy-related materials, intelligent energy systems and energy efficiency. “In addition, research on biomass used as a source of renewable energy and on hydrogen are two emerging areas that will probably become even more important in the future,” explains Ms Gaspar.

Another field is that of human behaviour and social sciences related to the energy transition. The research groups concerned focus on topics such as urban and non-urban development, transport services, consumer behaviour and the role of the financial sector. Their impact on the energy transition is more indirect, but still important.

Overview of Luxembourg’s pool of knowledge

The snapshot provided in the study is intended to provide public bodies, companies and other players in the innovation ecosystem with an overview of where they could turn for specific knowledge. “This might be interesting for decision makers looking to develop new solutions for the society,” says Ms Gaspar. “They are not obliged to look across the borders to find what they need: Luxembourg clearly has a considerable pool of knowledge related to the energy transition.”

To support companies looking for technologies, solutions and skills that can help them become more sustainable through innovation, Luxinnovation has developed a sustainability enabler mapping. It lists over 400 enablers, including consultants, certification organisations, investors and institutional enablers just as well as technology providers and research and testing centres that companies can contact to discuss cooperation.

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