Group photo with Luxembourg’s Minister for Higher Education and Research, Claude Meisch (centre right) and the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Joëlle Welfring (centre left); Credit: LIST

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology’s (LIST) Greentech Innovation Centre inaugurated its new facilities on Tuesday 25 July 2023, in the presence of Luxembourg’s Minister for Higher Education and Research, Claude Meisch, and the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Joëlle Welfring.

According to LIST, the new facilities available at the Greentech Innovation Centre will enable the institute to work on higher Technology Readiness Levels in the fields of biorefinery, water treatment and biogas production and to forge more partnerships.

The Greentech Innovation Centre of LIST is an open innovation facility for the development of new technologies for the detection and treatment of environmental pollution, for the recycling of biowaste to foster a circular bioeconomy, for the development of bio-based products and processes of industrial interest, as for example biopesticides and for the implementation of new biorefinery concepts for more efficient and sustainable processes.

Among the new installations, the facilities at the Greentech Innovation Centre now include a platform of bioreactors with a capacity ranging from 1 litre to 300 litres that is unique in the Greater Region. The new infrastructure also allows to implement large-scale prototypes and demonstrators in the domain of bioenergy and water treatment technologies and provides additional space for joined laboratories with industrial partners. Overall, the equipment represents an investment of €2 million by LIST.

With the launch of these new facilities at the Greentech Innovation Centre, LIST has reported it is taking a major step in its pursuit of advancing sustainable technologies. By raising its technology readiness level, the Environmental Research and Innovation department of LIST aims to take on more ambitious projects, work closely with industry leaders and drive significant change in the fields of biorefining, water treatment and biogas production. Innovations in this area are typically based on industrial biotechnology, molecular biology techniques, metabolic engineering, culture of plant cell lines and microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, fungi, microalgae), anaerobic digestion, biocatalysis, green chemistry and product formulation.

According to LIST, the Innovation Centre will be able to support the optimisation of existing solutions at all steps of product and process development. Over 60 scientists and engineers can offer complementary competences to support industrial partners from the generation of an idea through laboratory and pilot stages all the way to market-ready sustainable and safer processes, substances, ingredients and products. Furthermore, the Greentech Innovation Centre offers vocational trainings in collaboration with equipment providers like Innfors, Sciex and Invitrocell.

Major partners have joined LIST Greentech Innovation Centre through different models of collaboration, including the Institut fir Biologësch Landwirtschaft an Agrarkultur Luxemburg (IBLA) for the development of biopesticies; Bio Rock and Chemra in the domain of water treatment technologies; Ferme du Faascht in the domain of biomethanation, PM International for the valorisation of biowaste obtained during vine production and Probiotic group for the development of sustainable cleaning products

Minister Meisch said: “The major challenge is to encourage synergies between research players and the economic and social world, so that our strategy of promoting innovation has a significant impact, both environmentally and socio-economically. With its Greentech Innovation Centre, now even more efficient, LIST is once again clearly demonstrating that it not only understands this challenge but is fully committed to meeting it.

Minister Welfring added: “The new facilities of the Greentech Innovation Centre mark the start of a new chapter in the 25-year collaboration between LIST, the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, and our public authorities. The impressive facilities will accelerate the development of new environmental technologies, which are of particular interest to our businesses and public authorities, especially in the areas of energy transition and wastewater treatment. It is by sharing our knowledge that we will be able to keep pace with the many challenges posed by environmental crises.

Lucien Hoffmann, Director of the Environmental Research and Innovation department at LIST, concluded: “Our unique state-of-the-art facilities for environmental biotechnologies research allow our partners and researchers to develop solutions from lab to industrial scale. The platform can perform a range of analytical services and relies on its instrumentation, infrastructure and know-how to offer analyses on demand. Overall, the surface area of the new facilities for the Greentech Innovation Centre comprises 1,500 m2.