From virtual to real: The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce revives its physical presence at ICT Spring

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Chambre de Commerce

After two years in hybrid format, Luxembourg’s leading event in the fields of science, technology and innovation was back on track with a strong physical presence at LuxExpo-The Box on 30th June and 1st July 2022. Through its main theme “Beyond Frontiers”, the 12th edition of ICT Spring, organised by Farvest, focused on the new technologies which enable companies and the society, to redefine the perception of virtual and real worlds, as well as business models and strategies. FinTech industry, cybersecurity, space technologies, entrepreneurship, healthTech and supply chain were the six key tracks featured at the event through several conferences, exhibitor stands and live interviews displayed on TV screens in the main hall.

The visibility of the “Group Chamber of Commerce” went beyond frontiers thanks to its presence onsite with a main stand showcasing its several entities, i.e. the House of Entrepreneurship, the House of Startups, the House of Training as well as the Luxembourg City Incubator and Keyjob. The ICT industry is important both for the Luxembourg and European economies as it helps companies to develop and meet future challenges brought by an uncertain environment. During his speech at the event, the CEO – Director General of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Carlo Thelen, made a particular reference to the role of ecosystems in sustaining startups financially but also in boosting innovation and creativity. He introduced Luxembourg as “a very dynamic ecosystem which is driven by proactive economic actors. […] the country is also home to numerous incubators, both public and private, that host and accompany startup businesses during their acceleration process. The Ministry of the Economy, Luxinnovation and the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce represent 3 important economic players that have coordinated this approach towards the economic development and growth of startup companies at all levels.”

Given the importance of the proximity regions, the two-day event was also the occasion to consolidate once again our partnerships with Luxembourg’s neighbouring regions such as Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate. A strong business delegation was brought by the IHK Trier to strengthen relations between the respective ICT Communities. Taking on this occasion, Dr. Jan Glockauer, Managing Director of the IHK Trier pointed out “This is the second time Luxembourg has welcomed us since January this year. We brought a business delegation of 22 people and actors from Rhineland-Palatinate to ICT Spring. The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce put together an interesting programme for our delegations which included a session on the Luxembourg startup ecosystem, an introduction to Meluxina, a visit to the House of Startups as well as a participation in the International Business Meetings by b2fair. This important delegation to Luxembourg will help us strengthen our collaboration in the ICT sector.”

Furthermore, a round table focused on the Greater Region was organised on the main stage of ICT Spring by EU-Tribe, a cross-border network of incubators, accelerators and innovation hubs from the Greater Region. This dynamic meeting point that brought together important actors from the industry focused on the role of incubators in boosting innovation and access to finance as well as highlighted the opportunities of being in this entrepreneurially rich cross-border economic region.

Saarland was also represented at the fair by, an important actor in the Saarland region of Germany to increase the competitiveness and innovative strength of the Saar economy. For Nicole Boissier, Project Manager - Foreign Trade Promotion, it was the first participation in ICT Spring. “Saarland was present with 3 startups with their own booth and 3 other companies at our networking lounge that we shared together with our colleagues from Invest in Saar, co.hub66 and the Enterprise Europe Network Saarland. They are all really satisfied both about the quality and the quantity of the talks organised. With this year’s participation, we wanted to give it a first try. Our presence on the spot enabled us to analyse more closely the potential of the event so as to envisage a stronger participation next year. The bilateral collaboration with our Luxembourg counterparts is very strong. There are still plenty of ideas to explore together and to focus upon for the collective benefit of our SMEs in the Greater Region and beyond.

ICT Spring International Business Meetings by b2fair®

In fact, through its Enterprise Europe Network, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce organised the 7th edition of the ICT Spring International Business Meetings by b2fair. It gathered international delegations from all over the globe 39 different countries. Through its matchmaking activities at the event, the Enterprise Europe Network aimed to help SMEs and startups in the ICT community explore sustainable partnerships on their way to internationalisation.

Becoming one of the highlight side events of the ICT Spring Tech Conference, the international business meetings platform allowed participants to book meetings as well as to connect with potential business partners. In total, 1 136 matchmaking participants from 39 countries got connected, 1 930 contact cards exchanged, 3 583 discussions created on the platform and some 600 meeting requests consolidated on the spot in the framework of the International Business Meetings by b2fair® this year. “We participated in the International Business Meetings with the objective to explore the Luxembourg ecosystem as well as the international dimension of the country. Thanks to the matchmaking event, we fulfilled our objectives. We were assisted by the team of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce during the event and highly appreciated the programme of side events that were suggested to us. We look forward to following up our contacts to conclude fruitful collaborations.” said Kalinda Wickramage, Chief Marketing Officer at OREL IT, a company from Sri Lanka.

For Arianna Arienzo, Founder and CEO of VoiceMed, Luxembourg startup, it was also her first time at ICT Spring. “I participate in many events internationally and I must say that I am very pleased about the format of this event and the intense entrepreneurial networking. With my company I have been to VivaTech, Websummit and Slush and also to other smaller events. I must say that the business networking at this Luxembourg event is quite good. With regard to my sector, I would like to see a stronger focus on HealthCare or HealthTech among the exhibitors or the panellists. But the matchmaking activities helped me to meet 3 investors so far. Despite I did not have an exhibition booth this time, the matchmaking was really a good way to help me do concrete business during these 2 days at the event.”

The second day of the event laid focus on the empowering of tech communities while offering a deep dive into the startup ecosystem at national, European and international scale. With an ambitious programme over the whole day moderated by Amrita Singh, Senior International Affairs Advisor, the main stage of the tradeshow became home to numerous high level round tables, talks and exchanges, addressing the role of incubators in boosting innovation and financing businesses and the strategies to put in place to address global challenges. from boosting innovation to raising funds and exporting your business, with the presence of renowned people from different communities sharing their best practices, visions and missions.

Given the importance of international acceleration of startups, the afternoon programme also welcomed a fireside chat with Ms Cindy Tereba, Director International Affairs of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce & Dr. Kim J. Zietlow, Director Trend & Innovation Scouting, Germany Trade and Invest who shared their expertise on how to export your business. During the session, Ms Tereba highlighted that internationalisation is in Luxembourg’s DNA and showcases the personalized approached adopted by the country to scale companies internationally.

For Steve Breier, Chairman of the ICT Spring Advisory Board and Director – Head of Finance & IT of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, “this year’s event has kept its promise and has been instrumental in gathering several important ecosystems together to foster innovation and accelerate digital transformation. In Luxembourg, we have understood this collective economic responsibility of acting together. This complementarity of actions enables to support, in the best way possible, an efficient and fast-growing economic development of innovative startup companies. With this regard, the event represents a perfect occasion for Luxembourg to showcase its dynamic & innovation-driven IT and startup ecosystem. The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a strategic partner of this ICT flagship event and to continue its support in the future.”

As an unmissable event and a great opportunity for the Grand Duchy to showcase its full potential, especially on the international scale, ICT Spring 2022 succeeded in attracting investors, international movers and shakers as well as startups from the ICT community.

Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy
Carlo Thelen, CEO – Director General of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce
Steve Breier, Chairman of the ICT Spring Advisory Board and Director – Head of Finance & IT of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce