Energy Research Knowledge Centre


Research themes and prioritisation


In the past, Luxembourg did not devote large resources to energy research, except for selected programmes such as the European fusion research programme. In general, research funding is directed more towards the demonstration end of the spectrum than to fundamental research. Among renewable energy sources, wind has received the largest share of support, with some funding also going to solar thermal and bioenergy.

The law of 5 June 2009 relating to the promotion of research, development and innovation extends the possibilities for financial support to companies that launch innovation activities. The law allows specific R&D and innovation support, via several aid schemes and measures, to be granted for purposes including R&D projects or programmes and technical feasibility studies. In addition, the law of 18 February 2010 on aid schemes for environmental protection and the rational use of natural resources outlines several investment schemes. These include investment in energy saving, in high-efficiency cogeneration and in energy production from renewable sources.

Organisation of research


The definition and implementation of policies relating to R&D and innovation in Luxembourg is shared by several public bodies. Three ministries are actively involved: the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade (MECE), the Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Tourism (MSMET), and the Ministry for Higher Education and Research (MESR).

MESR ensures the definition, co-ordination and implementation of policies related to R&D and innovation in the public sector. MESR co-ordinates multi-annual programmes including the National Research Fund (FNR). MECE focuses on the implementation of economic competitiveness policy in Luxembourg, with priorities including R&D, technology transfer and innovation. Its responsibilities also include the promotion of innovation, which MECE achieves by hosting structures and incubators, R&D programmes and projects, and clusters, notably via Luxinnovation, the national agency for innovation and research. Together with MESR, MECE manages the Higher Committee for Research and Innovation. MSMET is in charge of setting policies for the development of commerce and craft businesses. Its responsibilities include the provision of grants to businesses to improve their competitiveness.

Promotion and financial support for public research in Luxembourg are implemented by the FNR. Luxinnovation has a supporting role by providing advice on R&D and innovation to all actors in the sector, including the government. Luxinnovation also drives the Luxembourg Cluster Initiative, which brings together several clusters and innovation networks. One of the networks established under this initiative is the EcoInnovation Cluster, which supports green technologies and renewable energy.

Figure 1: Organisational structure of energy research in Luxembourg.

The institutions performing research include three public research centres (CRP Santé, CRP Gabriel Lippmann and CRP Henri Tudor) that undertake research in various sectors. The Science and Analysis of Materials Department of the CRP Gabriel Lippmann works indirectly on energy research since it examines materials at microscopic or atomic level. CRP Henri Tudor has a more direct role: the research carried out in this centre relates to the promotion of technological innovation in both the public and private sectors.

Programmes and budgets


Budget overview

Luxembourg’s energy-related research budget is approximately €3.6 million. This estimate is based on the budgets of the CORE (2008–2013) and INTER (2006–2014) programmes. The budgets dedicated to energy-related research in CORE and INTER are approximately €2.3 million and €1.3 million, respectively.

Table 1: Main funding of energy research in Luxembourg.

Programmes and initiatives

Multi-Annual Research Thematic Research Programme (CORE)

CORE is funded under the FNR and is structured around several priority domains, including Sustainable Resource Management in Luxembourg, which covers the thematic research priority Sustainable Uses and Sources of Energy. The energy-related research carried out under CORE deals mainly with smart grids and bioenergy.

Promotion of International Co-operation (INTER)

INTER promotes international research collaboration in several areas including the sustainable management of resources. It is funded by the FNR. The energy-related research focuses on energy efficiency, including through improved mobility.

National govermment departments


Ministry of Higher Education and Research

Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche

This ministry is responsible for higher education, research and innovation nationwide. It develops national research policy and ensures scientific co-operation, and is one of the founding members of Luxinnovation. Its responsibilities also include maximising the value of public research results, for example by establishing public-private partnerships for R&D.

Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade

Ministère de l’Economie et du Commerce Extérieur

This ministry, through its technology policy and innovation activity, aims to help maintain and develop the competitiveness of the private sector by encouraging a co-ordinated approach to research. Its Directorate General for Research, Intellectual Property and New Technologies is in charge of R&D support measures.

Ministry of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Tourism

Ministère des Classes Moyennes et du Tourisme

This ministry supports SMEs by developing dedicated policies, issuing business permits and most notably by providing aid to businesses to improve their competitiveness.

National research programme management agencies



Luxinnovation is the National Agency for Innovation and Research. It is made up of six private and public partners including the Ministry of the Economy and Foreign Trade and the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce. The role of this organisation is to finance R&D in business and to promote the transfer of technology and knowledge.

Funding organisations at national level


National Research Fund

Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR)

FNR has developed several structural and thematic funding mechanisms for projects. The organisation has supported several research projects in areas of interest to the country, including energy.