The delegation around Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot will visit San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles during a trip focused on the space sector.
Luxembourgish businesses have long been active in the space sector and similarly, several US-based businesses are known to collaborate with the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSE).
Accompanied by Economy Minister Franz Fayot, the trip will primarily focus on the space industry but also includes meetings related to autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, and CleanTech. The visit to the United States offers the Prince and Minister a chance to meet with various industrial partners based in the region who also have operations in Luxembourg.
Silicon Valley, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a global hub of technological innovation, known for giving birth to numerous unicorns and hosting American tech giants. However, it has faced significant challenges in recent months, including the bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank. Los Angeles is home to many key players in the space industry, some of which already have ties to Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA).
The visit will begin in San Francisco at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, where discussions on sustainable development in the space sector will take place. This will be followed by meetings with San Francisco-based companies such as Nvidia, a global leader in AI hardware and software, and nZero, a startup that recently opened a Luxembourg branch and developed a solution for gathering and analysing energy consumption data across businesses to optimise investment performance and promote decarbonisation. Additionally, a meeting with California's Lieutenant Governor is scheduled, along with several networking events to highlight recent developments in the Luxembourg space sector.
In Los Angeles, the Economy Minister will continue the visit with tours and meetings with space industry companies, including an initial contact with Honeybee Robotics. Recently acquired by Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, the company specializes in constructing robotic systems for challenging environments, facilitating remote operations on Earth and in space. A visit to SpaceX's headquarters, founded by Elon Musk to design, manufacture, and launch cutting-edge rockets and satellite systems, is also on the agenda, as is a meeting with Offworld. A company present in Luxembourg since the beginning of the SpaceResources.lu initiative, Offworld designs, develops, and manufactures AI-powered robotic platforms. The Economy Minister will also meet with leaders of industrial groups Airtech and Avery Dennison, both of which have production sites in Luxembourg.
This working visit to California follows a previous trip to Boston and New York in November 2022, demonstrating the importance of the United States in bilateral economic relations. In fact, the U.S. is Luxembourg's second-largest trading partner after the EU, with total trade reaching nearly €23.85 billion in 2021, dominated by services. Around 100 American companies, mainly industrial (Avery Dennison, Airtech, Goodyear) and ICT sector (Amazon, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Paypal), have established operations in Luxembourg, while about ten major Luxembourgish companies are present in the U.S.