To have thrived as a business during 2020 given the knock-on effect of the pandemic is a cause for celebration. The Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) at the University of Luxembourg has released a new website to do exactly that.
20th May saw the launch of their Annual Report, highlighting some of their breakthroughs from the last year. These included the work they achieved with local industry partners, the government and even launching their fifth spin-off company.
Today, three of SnT’s team share their experience on how they allowed 2020 to be one of their best years yet:
2020 was a difficult year to thrive under such challenging circumstances, what was the strategy behind this success?
“SnT has always been a very digital organisation where all our employees are used to working online with the latest tools and infrastructure. This meant our transition into remote working went seamlessly in early 2020, and even allowed us to continue hiring and onboarding new members of our team remotely to sustain an 11% growth. Here at SnT we have a decentralised structure, so we saw many creative initiatives emerging and our productivity actually increased! We had a record number of research project proposals, new partnerships and a record-breaking influx of competitive research funding – over €32 million.” - Prof. Björn Ottersten, Director of SnT.
SnT has shown its dedication to help companies in Luxembourg gain a competitive edge even throughout the pandemic, what can a business expect when they join the Partnership Programme?
“We have a well-tested approach for collaborating with industry through our joint research projects, and these cover all kinds of information and communication technologies. When a partner comes on board, we co-invest in these projects together to address a business challenge they have but no simple solution currently exists on the market. These companies benefit in many ways: by receiving access to a solution to their business challenge, developing their internal competences in state-of-the-art technologies and, last but not least, nurturing their future employees.” - Dr. Carlo Duprel, Head of SnT’s Technology Transfer Office.
As a researcher at SnT, your work last year spanned across our partner projects and the launch of the start-up company Lift Me Off, how did covid complicate your research?
“It was very difficult during the first few weeks from mid-March 2020 not knowing how long this situation was going to last. As head of the research group CVI2, I’m responsible for motivating everyone, and that’s challenging when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. With a freshly signed partnership with start-up Lift Me Off, launching the project under such circumstances was difficult. The team, from both sides, had incredible resilience and fighting spirit, and together we succeeded. Everyone made the best of the situation, adapting to new approaches for collaboration and proposing new creative ideas, which makes me so proud! I’m also very thankful that despite setbacks during the pandemic, we still managed to sign some great partners last year too.” - Prof. Djamila Aouada, Head of the CVI2 Research Group.
SnT’s Annual Report is available to read now, and includes 24 stories from projects they have worked on over the course of 2020 that have helped shape the future of technological innovation in Luxembourg.
Press release SnT