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This high-tech business incubator has been built within the new flagship science park which is part of an impressive steelworks conversion. Promoted under the Ministry of Economy’s innovation policy, authorised by act of parliament, it was implemented by Fonds Belval, a public body and contracting authority and the beneficiary of the ERDF co-funding.

Executive summary

The construction of the Belval high-tech incubator was completed in 2011 at a cost of €6 million, including an ERDF contribution of €1.5 million (25%). It is an entirely public investment project, promoted by the Innovation Department of the Ministry of Economy, and authorised by its own Act of Parliament. It was designed, implemented and co-funded by Fonds Belval, a public development body and contracting authority.

The incubator building is to become operational by mid-2012. It contains 4 240 m2 of fully-equipped office and workshops space, to be rented to business creators for development of their business ideas, prototypes, feasibility studies or market studies. In addition to physical premises, the incubator offers soft support such as business advice and networking.

The project is located in a restored office building, with a high quality design. It belongs to the emblematic science park and national university in Belval, a new urban district under construction in Esch-sur-Alzette, a town of 30 000 inhabitants. The site is part of the largest steelworks conversion currently under way in the EU. It is also part of the cross-border European Development Pole and of the Greater Region (Grande Région).

The incubator’s main objective is to support the creation and development of innovative high -tech start-up firms, as a new source of growth and jobs which will strengthen the region’s economic fabric. It is expected to boost and promote R&D activities, and increase technology transfers from the main national Public Research Centres (CRPs) located in the science park and from private research centres expected to locate in or near the park.

Once operational, the incubator will build close links with the Henri Tudor research centre, to be located in the nearby Innovation House, and with the existing Technoport incubator. Priority is given to ICT and new materials projects stemming from them. The incubator is expected to be a positive step in the consolidation of Luxembourg’s innovation system, owing to its proximity to the research centres.

The project is emblematic of a smart and sustainable growth approach. It is housed in a restored building registered as a national monument, and combines conservation with its modern use. The terms of reference for the architectural competition for all the science park buildings required an “energy concept” and an “integrated approach taking account of the economic, cultural, ecological and social objectives of urban planning”.

The innovativeness of this project lies not only in the creativity it will nurture but in its environment. The project has turned a derelict steelworks into an impressive science park and university, integrated within a new urban district – learning and service-based city built on the principles of sustainability.

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Technical information

Name

Blast off for new businesses

Member State and Region

Luxembourg;

Southern Terres Rouges (“Red Lands”) region

Duration of project

26 months (10.2009 – 12.2011 end of construction)

Funding

Total budget: 6 000 000 € - ERDF contribution: 4 500 000 €

Cohesion Policy Objective

Regional competitiveness and employment

Managing Authority

Directorate for Regional Policy of the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade

CCI nr of OP

2007LU162PO001 OP Luxemburg

Contact

Mr Victor Diderrich - Director for Finance - Le Fonds Belval

Esch-sur-Alzette (on the ERDF co-funded building)

Tel +352 26 84 01

Mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.fondbelval.lu

 

Mr Mario Grotz - Head of Project Analysis Unit - Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade – Luxembourg (on the future operational incubator)

Tel +352 2478 4185

Mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web

http://www.espaces-transfrontaliers.org/en/

Keywords

Research activities, infrastructures or science parks, Transfer of technology, Urban renewal

     
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