Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

03/19/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/19/2024 05:48

Yuriko Backes, Lex Delles and Stéphanie Obertin launched a call for joint R&D projects in the field of defence

On 18 March 2024, Yuriko Backes, Minister of Defence, Lex Delles, Minister of the Economy, SME, Energy and Tourism, and Stéphanie Obertin, Minister for Research and Higher Education, launched a joint call for research and development (R&D) projects in the field of defence.

Following the success of the first call for projects, launched in 2022, the Directorate of Defence, the Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry for Research and Higher Education, in collaboration with the National Research Fund (FNR) and Luxinnovation, are launching this second joint call for projects in the field of defence, more specifically for dual-use capabilities that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. Given the specific characteristics of the economic landscape and the specialisms of public research in Luxembourg, this second call for projects will focus on the themes of 'Smart Mobility', 'Resilience' and 'Strategic Foresight and Climate Change Adaptation'.

Only national companies and research centres are eligible to participate in this joint call for projects, which will provide an opportunity for Grand Duchy players to take their first steps in the defence sector.

The budget allocated by the Directorate of Defence is €13.8 million for the period 2025-2027, including €7.5 million for the Innovation Fund and €6.3 million for the National Research Fund.

"With this call, we will be encouraging research and the development of innovative defence projects in Luxembourg. We will support our national companies and research centres and help them to access EU and NATO markets and production chains," said the Minister of Defence, Yuriko Backes.

The Minister of the Economy, SME, Energy and Tourism, Lex Delles, emphasised that "the Luxembourg market has great potential for innovation in terms of sustainability. I am convinced that this call for projects represents an excellent opportunity to promote collaboration between companies and research centres and will give rise to innovative projects that will benefit both the economy and its sustainability as well as defence and society."

Stéphanie Obertin, Minister for Research and Higher Education: "Like the first one, this second call is fully in line with the national research and innovation strategy. What's more, Luxembourg's research institutions, in particular LIST and the University of Luxembourg with its interdisciplinary SnT centre, are already very active and have skills developed over the years in the three selected areas.


This call for projects is in line with two government objectives set out in the coalition agreement. It aims to create synergies with other sectors by focusing on projects that will have a positive impact on Luxembourg in both social and economic terms, and will enable Defence to move closer to its budgetary objective of investing 2% of gross national income in defence in the medium term.

The interministerial initiative also aims to meet the EU requirement to invest at least 2% of the national defence effort in R&D projects. In 2024, with a total R&D budget of €24.1 million, or 3.4% of the defence effort, the Directorate of Defence will have more than quadrupled its R&D investment compared with 2022 (€5.4 million).

Finally, the aim of this call for projects is to enable national players to acquire experience in the defence field, while trying to position themselves as forerunners in certain technological niches. The call for projects aims to support Luxembourg industry in integrating the European Union's defence value chain, through direct contact with EU defence ministries, to access the various NATO markets, but also to foster the creation of a national defence industry community, as well as to promote Luxembourg's technological capabilities in the field of defence at international level.

The role played by Luxinnovation

To promote the emergence of projects and support interested parties in their efforts, Luxinnovation has set up an online platform where companies and public research bodies are invited to submit their project ideas from 15 April 2024 until 14 June 2024. In addition, Luxinnovation will be organising an information session, in the form of a webinar, for companies and researchers interested in participating in the call for projects. Participants in this webinar will be invited to register online.

Press release from the Directorate of Defence, the Ministry of the Economy / Ministry for Research and Higher Education