Unlike many similar organisations abroad, Luxembourg's space agency will not directly conduct research or launch missions, but foster collaboration between key players in the space industry, with the core mission of accelerating the emergence of innovation-driven businesses.
For more than three decades, Luxembourg has been at the forefront of commercial and co-operative initiatives that have shaped a vibrant space economy. Its greatest success has been the creation in 1985 of the government-supported SES (Société Européenne des Satellites), today the world’s largest commercial satellite operator. Further space-related services and businesses have developed alongside SES, and today commercial space activity accounts for nearly 2% of GDP, among the highest ratios in Europe.
Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, said “Building on Luxembourg’s longstanding support for the space industry through a combination of policy, programmes and funding, the agency will further encourage innovation-driven space entrepreneurship and promote this country as Europe’s platform for commercial space development and a home for cutting-edge industries. Luxembourg is ready to welcome, support and assist the development of space industry players that can move forward together.”
ESA Director General Jan Wörner said “I congratulate Luxembourg on this very important step in its space history. With its wide range of services and expertise, ESA is continuing its strong co-operation with the Grand Duchy. Collaboration between the Luxembourg Space Agency and ESA can be a very good opportunity for Europe by pooling our capabilities in a network of space agencies that embodies the European ideal in space.”
SES President and CEO Steve Collar added “The Grand Duchy has a proud history in space. The Luxembourg Space Agency is an important step for the country’s future as a space leader. Harnessing the country’s investment culture and educational resources is helping to drive our business and put Luxembourg in the forefront as a spacefaring nation.”
- Chamber of Commerce, a professional organisation and public institution encompassing all sectors of the economy apart from agriculture and skilled trades
- Groupement luxembourgeois de l'aéronautique et de l'espace (GLAE), an industry group for the aerospace sector
- Luxembourg Science Center (LSC), a private non-profit organisation whose goal is to generate enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics among young people and promote interest in science and technology among the general public
- Luxinnovation, a key partner for companies conducting innovative activities in Luxembourg
- SES, a global leader in commercial satellite operation, launched in Luxembourg in 1985 as a public-private partnership
- Technoport, a technology-oriented business incubator that supports innovative young companies in validating their ideas and turning them into commercial reality
Starting in the 2019 academic year, the University of Luxembourg will offer an inter-disciplinary space master’s degree markedly different from programmes at other institutions. It will provide participants from an engineering or scientific background with additional technical expertise in fields needed to support Luxembourg’s space industry, along with a strong grounding in business.