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RIO Country Report Luxembourg 2016

The annual RIO Country Report offers an analysis of the R&I system in Luxembourg, including relevant policies and funding, with particular focus on topics critical for EU policies. The report identifies the main challenges of the Luxembourgish research and innovation system and assesses the policy response.


Executive summary


  • Luxembourg's growth is expected to have accelerated to 4.7% in 2015 from 4.1% in the previous year mainly due to strong exports of financial and non-financial services. In 2016, GDP is expected to grow by 3.8% still mostly driven by the large, even if decreasing, contribution from net export. Overall Luxembourg's economy is forecast to grow by around 4.4% in 2017 (source ECFIN Winter forecast).
  • Luxembourg’s GDP still derives 88.6% (2015) from the services sector, with financial services contributing the lion’s share.
  • The level of GERD in Luxembourg has stagnated since 2012 and in 2015 represented 1.31% of GDP.
  • Luxembourg is not on track to reach its R&D intensity target of 2.3-2.6% of GDP by 2020 because of a sharp drop in BERD from 1.5% in 2000 to 0.67% in 2015.

Main R&I Policy challenges

  • Increasing research intensity to diversify the economy. The five-fold increase of public sector R&D intensity since 2000 (from 0.12% in 2000 to 0.59% in 2014) reflects the government’s resolve to build up public research capacities. Despite this Luxembourg is not on track to reach its R&D intensity target of 2.3-2.6% of GDP by 2020.
  • Developing native research capacity and moving towards greater gender balance. Having more native researchers can ensure better continuity in the National Research System (NRS). As a response, the National Research Fund (NRF) administers the AFR and PRIDE programmes whose aim is to support doctoral and post-doc research. To address gender imbalances, the NRF has set an average objective of candidates of the under-represented gender of 40% through the ATTRACT program and 30% through PEARL program over a period of four years as well as 40% female representation on PRS boards.
  • Setting a strategy for the R&I system. As noted in the 2015 OECD report, Luxembourg has lacked a national R&I strategy. Significant efforts have been made to concentrate geographically the most important R&I actors in a single site campus in Belval in addition to merging two public research centres into the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).

Main R&I Policy developments in 2016

Geo coverage
Report year
Official publication date
Friday, 12 May, 2017
Last update: 20/11/2017 | Top | Legal notice | Contact | Search