In a visit to Esch/Belval July 20, Ambassador McKean learned about the past, present, and future of Luxembourg’s economy – its history and future in steel at the ArcelorMittal facility and its efforts to diversify the economy by supporting innovation at the Luxembourg Center for Systems Biology, the Technoport research center and incubator, and Luxinnovation, an initiative of the National Agency for Research and Innovation. Ambassador McKean traveled to the newly-developed research, education, and lifestyle hub of Esch/Alzette, on an economic development tour encompassing both traditional industry – the ArcelorMittal Belval steel plant – and cutting-edge biotechnology and innovation (Luxembourg Center for Systems Biology; Technoport; and Luxinnovation). The Agora Company and other private partners collaborated with the State and local municipalities to rehabilitate and transform an old industrial zone formerly known for its iron-ore resources and steelmaking plants into a multi-purpose area for living and working in Esch/Belval. The Technoport, an incubator for start-up ventures, is currently hosting 26 companies and has raised €18 million from private investors. Luxinnovation, a public-private partnership, is an economic interest group promoting innovation and research in the private sector.
ArcelorMittal Belval (formerly known as ProfilArbed) is the world’s largest rolling mill of hot rolled steel sheet piles and has been playing a leading role in the development of piling technology for over 100 years. The first steel sheet piles were rolled in 1911 and 1912: the ‘Ransome’ and ‘Terre Rouge’ piles.