Credit: © SIP / Emmanuel Claude

On Thursday 25 January 2024, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Economy, in collaboration with BGL BNP Paribas, announced a large-scale research and development (R&D) project.

During a press conference, Luxembourg’s Minister of the Economy, SME, Energy and Tourism, Lex Delles, and the Minister of Finance, Gilles Roth, jointly with Béatrice Belorgey, President of the executive committee of BGL BNP Paribas and Head of the Group's entities BNP Paribas in Luxembourg and Fabrice Cucchi, member of the executive committee and Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer of BGL BNP Paribas, presented a large-scale R&D project, which will benefit from public co-financing from the Ministry of the Economy.

According to the ministries, harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) offers “immense potential to boost many sectors of the economy, including finance, as well as to simplify the lives of citizens”. Its development was named as one of the priorities of the coalition agreement. The government intends in particular to further stimulate Luxembourg's economic diversification to create, or strengthen, ecosystems in priority sectors, including the field of AI.

Created in 1919, BGL BNP Paribas is one of the largest banks in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, active in retail banking, private banking and corporate banking. It is part of the BNP Paribas Group, the sixth largest employer in the country.

For BGL BNP Paribas, AI is taking on strategic importance. The bank reported it is already using this technology at several levels, notably for risk management, payments, understanding and processing emails as well as modernising credit management and processing regulatory obligations. To facilitate the permanent and systematic supervision of AI solutions evolving in a constantly changing context, BGL BNP Paribas has embarked on a R&D project, in collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) from the University of Luxembourg, aiming to develop an intelligent and secure monitoring system for these AI solutions while taking into account the regulatory framework.

With this project, BGL BNP Paribas was the first bank to submit a project linked to artificial intelligence which will benefit from public co-financing, as part of the RDI (Research-Development-Innovation) aid scheme. The project represents an investment of nearly €7.4 million over three years, of which a maximum amount of €2.95 million can be co-financed by the Ministry of the Economy.

Béatrice Belorgey, chair of the executive committee of BGL BNP Paribas and head of BNP Paribas Group entities in Luxembourg, stated: “The development and deployment of artificial intelligence is fully in line with our GTS [Growth – Technology – Sustainability] development plan 2025. This new research program that we are launching in collaboration with the SnT is audacious since it addresses a technological challenge that is still little explored but which is nevertheless key to accelerating the industrial development of AI and its uses in our bank. I am particularly proud that our bank is a pioneer in this field and delighted to be able to count, in this adventure, on the support of our partners, the SnT and the Ministry of the Economy.”

On the occasion of the project’s presentation, Minister Delles added: “AI is a promising technology of the future which can contribute to the competitiveness of Luxembourg by helping us to gain productivity. Also, the Ministry of the Economy is pleased to be able to support BGL BNP Paribas to carry out this innovative project which will certainly contribute significantly to the development of skills in the field of AI in Luxembourg. Ultimately, this could strengthen the position of the Grand Duchy internationally on this issue. I hope that other major players in the market will follow the example by also launching R&D projects linked to AI.”

Minister Roth concluded: “Artificial intelligence is a transformative technology. Businesses that embrace it responsibly will have a competitive advantage in tomorrow's data-driven economy. So, it’s encouraging to see that one of our leading banks is tackling the opportunities and challenges of AI head-on. This is also a strong sign of the BNP Paribas group's desire to develop its activities in Luxembourg, which also demonstrates that international groups can take advantage of their presence in the Grand Duchy to develop and implement new technologies".