Bringing Research and Innovation Together

  • Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT)
    25 novembre 2022
  • Category

Simple ideas can lead to groundbreaking business innovations; but behind the scenes game-changing technology is increasing in complexity, not the reverse. From artificial intelligence to automation, and cybersecurity to counterfeit detection, the cutting-edge is hard to chase.

“We have been seeing more and more projects that are focused on exploring the very threshold of innovation, and want the full power of an academic approach to solve practical challenges,” says Dr Carlo Duprel, Head of the Technology Transfer Office at the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT). “This is exciting as it means academia and corporate are coming together to have a real impact.”

As the speed of innovation ramps-up across sectors, how do you prevent whiplash?

“The fast-lane approach is not necessarily designed to have innovation originate from inside an organisation,” says Dr. Duprel. “The massive body of fundamental research that is being churned out these days makes it challenging for experts outside of academia to stay on top of it.”

That is why research centres like SnT, that intensively collaborate with industry, are now an established part of the innovation value-chain. In-house teams are not always the right people to look to for the cutting-edge, as their perspective is focused on their short-term particular business, making them liable to miss relevant long-term research in another domain.

“The body of research that might lead to a solution can be prohibitively vast, which is where we come in. Our researchers know the work that has been done,” says Dr. Duprel. “When partnered with us, companies don’t sift through thousands of research papers, because we’ve already done that.”

What does the SnT partnership experience look like?

What makes SnT unique is that while many research institutions have collaborative relationships with industry, SnT puts such partnerships at its core. Through its Partnership Programme SnT researchers and resources are matched with companies’ challenges to drive real-world impact.

SnT currently works with over 60 partners, ranging from startups to Luxembourg-based satellite giant SES. The centre’s work in applied research cuts across four focus areas: FinTech, Space Systems, Cybersecurity, as well as Autonomous Vehicles and IoT. A partnership with the centre on a collaborative research project has an end-goal of a proof-of-concept, but before that comes so many other benefits.

“We are proud that many of our graduating PhD students go on to work with our partners,” explains Dr. Duprel. “By working with an SnT research team companies do tend to get their pick of the up-and-coming scientific minds of Luxembourg. The relationships are there, and moving a researcher from academia to a corporate team is a natural evolution of many projects.”

Some recent project successes include work they have done with SES in helping to adapt 5G to the space economy, as well as work with the fintech sector to help create credit scoring systems that are AI-powered, automated, and reduce risk for financial institutions.

Dr. Duprel says that research units at SnT enjoy taking on these sorts of challenges, and that it keeps researchers on their feet. “It is good for us, because unlike in some research environments, in the Partnership Programme we have the pressure to deliver results, and this makes the research that much more exciting for us. We also gain a lot of information by working with business teams, which fuels further research.”

A partnership model for innovation makes financial sense

Innovation is already such a resource intensive endeavor that ramping up the speed can quickly put a business under water if they are not careful. That makes a model that shares risk and reward particularly interesting, which is what SnT delivers.

“We are not consultants, we truly share innovation projects and that means bearing the burden of risk equally with our partners,” says Dr. Duprel. “Research is also resource intensive, so it just makes sense for us to open the doors of the ivory tower and deliver results that will have an impact on the real-world. When a company partners with us not only do they get a research collaboration, but also access to our cutting-edge labs and project support by applying for external research funding.”

Interested in partnering with SnT? Contact us through:

This article was originally published in Paperjam here