Prime Minister, Minister of State Xavier Bettel travelled to the West Coast of the United States from 13 to 16 March as part of an economic mission.
The mission started on Monday, 13 March in Cupertino with a meeting between the Prime Minister and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. During their exchange, Xavier Bettel and Tim Cook shared their understanding that sustainability is the future of technology. In this context, Tim Cook presented several initiatives to make Apple products more circular. The Prime Minister stressed that for Luxembourg, green growth and the development of innovative technologies go hand in hand. The discussions also focused on developments in artificial intelligence, data protection and cybersecurity.
The following day, the Prime Minister visited the headquarters of the start-up company Lyten in San Jose. This company explores innovative approaches for advanced materials. Lyten has developed 3D graphene, a material used in lithium sulphide batteries. This material has the ability to double the energy density of batteries while significantly reducing their recharge time. This material can also be used to lighten a wide range of products, that are now often made of plastic, thus reducing the carbon footprint, e.g. in the aviation sector.
After this visit, the Prime Minister was received at Google in Mountain View by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, Kent Walker, President, Global Affairs Officer and Chief Legal Officer of Google and Alphabet, and Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.
During the visit to Google, a Belgian-Luxembourg partnership between Proximus Group and LuxConnect in the field of cloud services was presented.
The two companies signed an agreement to set up a joint subsidiary based in Luxembourg to provide disconnected cloud services to public and private entities, institutions and international organisations.
This initiative is in line with the government's economic strategy for 2025 and the objective of accelerating the digitalisation of the economy for the benefit of society and enabling a secure and reliable transformation of the data economy.
Xavier Bettel emphasised the importance of the concept of sovereignty: "The pandemic has greatly accelerated the use of cloud solutions and collaborative tools. The current geopolitical situation increases the need for highly secure technologies. I am proud that this Belgium-Luxembourg cooperation will be a European pioneer in the sovereign cloud.
During the Prime Minister's meeting with Thomas Kurian, a Google project in Luxembourg in the field of cloud, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence was confirmed. During this meeting, the CEO of Google Cloud confirmed his commitment to the creation of a Google entity in Luxembourg: "Technology is driving economic progress around the world. Google's Cloud Computing platform provides state-of-the-art technology to help businesses and governments modernize their information technology systems, process data and build applications using artificial intelligence, and protect and keep data and citizens safe with integrated cybersecurity tools. We are pleased to partner to bring this cutting-edge technology to Luxembourg, to invest in go-to-market teams based in Luxembourg and Europe that will help our customers and partners adopt these technologies, and, in collaboration with government and educational institutions, to establish centers of excellence in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and other advanced technologies."
The economic mission continued the next day with a visit to San Francisco to Open AI, the artificial intelligence research laboratory behind Chat GPT, whose fourth and eagerly awaited latest version had been launched the day before. The Prime Minister had the opportunity to meet with Greg Brockman, president and co-founder of Open AI, who presented the Luxembourg delegation with several Chat GPT applications currently under development. The exchange focused on the opportunities and challenges in the field of artificial intelligence.
The mission was followed by a visit to Cruise in San Francisco, a company active in the development of autonomous electric vehicles. Xavier Bettel was received by Jeff Bleich, Chief Legal Officer of Cruise. Prior to a demonstration drive of one of Cruise's vehicles, the Prime Minister had the opportunity to discuss with Jeff Bleich the next steps in urban infrastructure, including green mobility and road safety, and the role that companies like Cruise can play in accelerating and improving both.
Finally, on Thursday 16 March, the Prime Minister visited the Qualcomm campus in San Diego. Qualcomm is a pioneering company in semiconductors, software and services for wireless technology. Xavier Bettel was received by the company's CEO, Cristiano Amon. During a meeting between the Luxembourg delegation and Qualcomm representatives, several avenues were explored that would allow cooperation in many sectors, including satellite technology, 5GmmWave and mobility. Several applications of Snapdragon semiconductors were presented.
The business mission ended in San Diego after presentations and demonstrations of cutting-edge products, technologies and systems developed by or with Qualcomm.
Press release by the Ministry of State