15.05.2023 IT Event FarvestDecrypt IT Trends

SnT Partnership Day: unveiling groundbreaking research projects

Writer Samira Joineau
snt partnership day 2023
© Xavier Bettel

Last Thursday, the new edition of the SnT Partnership Day occurred at the European Convention Center Luxembourg (ECCL), featuring the theme: The future is now. Organized by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) of the University of Luxembourg, this event is an invitation to discover the latest innovative projects.

The SnT is a research institution specialized in the ICT sector. Its researchers conduct long-term research and demand-driven collaborative projects with local and international partners, and also the public sector. For this reason, the Partnership Programme lies at the heart of SnT’s activity: the work achieved in collaboration with their partner organizations helps position Luxembourg as a hub of excellence and innovation within Europe in the field of secure and reliable ICT systems and services.

The Partnership Day is an invitation-only event which actually aims at fostering cooperation and innovation between partners and researchers at the University of Luxembourg’s SnT. The idea of the event lies in sharing fruitful discussions, and demonstrating demos, guided tours and, of course, privileging networking! 

In the demonstration area, researchers had the opportunity to present their work, related for instance to the use of AI in 3D reverse engineering, smart charging solutions for electric vehicles, radar systems measuring vital signs, IT research addressing the threat of quantum computers, off-the-shelf hardware systems tolerant to high radiation to sustain future autonomous space missions, and another hardware to connect connect 5G standard-compliant smartphones to the 5G radio access networks and verify the terrestrial connection between the 5G core networks. 

Head of SnT’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) Carlo Duprel highlighted how “fundamental” this research is for SnT – and the society as a whole – as they contribute and strive to help in solving real-world challenges. Notably in terms of AI, cybersecurity, fintech, satellite communications, computer vision, or autonomous driving, which are complex topics asking for collaboration and partnerships. 

“Enabling technologies is not limited to one sector. If you take for instance AI, or software engineering, or robotics, they can be used in many different sectors” – Carlo Duprel

On stage now, Duprel started the ball rolling by recalling how SnT is an example of how the university can support the economy, the society, and the country. He noted that 55% of international PhD students stay in Luxembourg for their first job, and 45% of them stay for their second job. “This is true talent attraction of outstanding excellence”, he added. 

“I really want our university to be a strong part in connecting people, disciplines, scientists, industries, and in connecting our university to the society” – Carlo Duprel

He also paid tribute to founding Director of SnT Björn Ottersten for being a “stroke of luck for our university, for the research colleagues inside SnT, for the young colleagues, for our industry partners, and even for Luxembourg”. 

On his side, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel gave a shout out to all the researchers for the technological and societal advances they enable thanks to their work: “because of you [researchers], we are not forward of technology but we are a leading country in technology”. The government is attached to always supporting disruptive and innovative ideas and projects. 

“Investing in education and in research are areas in the last ten years that the government never took the budget down. Investing in people is the best investment in the country” – Xavier Bettel

Besides, Bettel also stresses how essential it was to “tackle the challenges” related to technology, so as to brace for the future. Hence the importance of embracing new and upcoming technologies, and being an “actor” of this new era instead of being a “witness”. 

Director of SnT Björn Ottersten concluded the introductory talks with a speech on the meaning of SnT and the Partnership Day. He also presented the different milestones achieved in 2022 and earlier this year among other successes. 

“This is really the highlight of the year for SnT. We come together to celebrate our achievements but perhaps most importantly to thank you – the entire community of partners and public institutions that support and help shape and define our research” – Björn Ottersten

The introductory talks were followed with SES Chief Technology Officer Ruy Pinto’s keynote address on integrated multi-orbit space architecture, and five-minute flash talks led by industry representatives, capturing the range of industry-leading research ongoing at SnT. Among them featured Junaid Ur Rehman (Quantum Communications Infrastructure in Luxembourg), Flor de Guadalupe Ortiz Gomez (AI and Machine Learning for Satellite Communications with SES), Mohammad Alaee (Indoor Radar Sensing with IEE), Cedric Lothritz (LuxemBERT Language Model with BGL BNP Paribas), and Tamara Roth (Use of Digital identities with the Luxembourgish Ministry for Digitalization). 

The event continued afterwards with demo tours, and participants could then network over food and drinks.