The Ministry of the Economy – Directorate General for Tourism, in partnership with Luxinnovation, is launching a national competition entitled Tourism Innovation Award 2018 with the aim of encouraging innovation in tourism.
II. Conditions of eligibility
a. Eligible candidates:
The competition is open to small and medium-sized businesses, which are legal entities under Luxembourg law, carry on an activity in Luxembourg and are in the process of realising or wish to realise a particularly innovative idea in relation to the tourism sector.
b. Eligible projects:
Projects to develop new solutions (products or services) are eligible provided they meet three criteria:
– Innovative nature: the product or service (or combination of the two) is new to the enterprise. The planned characteristics or uses are significantly different from those created previously. This may involve the development of a new technology or the adaptation of an existing technology, but the focus must be on the client and their requirements.
– Recent project: the project submitted must not date back more than three years from the date of application. It may also be in its last phase of development prior to its introduction to the market.
– Tourism: the project must relate to the tourism sector.
Projects will not be eligible if they are contrary to the values of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or risk harming its image.
III. Different categories of prizes
Projects may be entered in one of the following two categories:
1) SMART TOURISM: intelligent solutions, information and offer personalisation, open-source solutions, data protection, virtual reality, 3D visualisation, geocoding, etc.
2) CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM: optimisation of resource and material flows, resource efficiency, the sharing economy, the Internet of things, ecotourism, protection of the environment, protection of natural resources, etc.
The winner of each of the two categories indicated in Section III above will be rewarded with a sum of € 15,000.
A Public Prize is awarded among all projects submitted and is awarded a reward of € 15,000.
In addition to the financial aid from which the two winners will benefit, Luxinnovation will offer an analysis of the projects presented by the six finalists and will make an assessment of their innovative potential as well as providing a roadmap for the project’s implementation. Such project assistance will not include any financial support for its implementation. The competition rewards the innovative idea as described in the Section above. The form of the assistance provided by Luxinnovation will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature and progress made on the winning project.
V. Terms of participation and applications
Projects must be entered online at www.tourisminnovation.lu. The entry will be contractual. Applications must be submitted in electronic form by 12 June 2018 at the latest.
Documents to be provided in support of an application:
– entry form and project sheet duly completed;
– project business plan containing at least an executive summary of a maximum 2 pages, describing the market and the competitive environment, objectives and strategic positioning, financial forecast with income statement, balance sheet and financing plan, the operational plan, human resources and if necessary a description of the legal dimension.
Finalists will be required to provide additional documents, cf. Section VIII Page 4.
The applicant will select the language in which they wish to lodge their application from French, English and German. Any incomplete application will be automatically disregarded.
Documents, photographs or hypertext links (e.g. to a video or web site) may be appended to the application. Such items will serve as complementary explanations to the application.
The documents and information submitted with the application will be treated confidentially and will only be submitted to members of the jury for project assessment. Only the project sheet completed by the applicant as part of their application is intended for publication. There will be no publication of any other information contained in the application without the applicant’s consent.
No rights on the submitted projects and ideas are claimed by the organizer, the candidates retain the intellectual property of their projects.
VI. Composition of the jury
The members of the jury for the Tourism Innovation Award 2018 consist of a maximum of 6 representatives in the following entities:
o Ministry of the Economy;
o Luxembourg for Tourism;
o Regional Tourist Offices;
o Chamber of Commerce;
o Chamber of Trade.
The members of the jury will sign a document declaring that there is no conflict of interest in relation to the projects submitted. They will guarantee objectivity as well as observance of the regulations for the present competition. A member of the jury will abstain from voting if there is a family relationship to the second degree with a representative of an applicant enterprise.
VII. Assessment criteria and weighting
The jury will rely on the following assessment criteria:
– Innovation (40%): is the product/service new and does it present added value for the tourist sector? Does it follow current trends? Does it demonstrate creativity, originality or is it of an exemplary nature?
– Economic value (15%): does the project have chances to establish itself on the market over the long term? Can new market segments be exploited? What is the economic model and how is the project funded? How will the project be integrated into the Luxembourg economy?
– Sustainability (15%): is the project ecologically, economically and socially responsible? What certifications does the enterprise have if any? Is the project aimed at providing a sustainable boost to tourist activity in Luxembourg?
– Client orientation (15%): what is the intended target? What is the use value and the added value offered to the target?
– Quality (15%): what is the project’s quality requirement? Are understandable quality criteria used?
VIII. Selection procedure
The project sheet for all those projects which meet the conditions of eligibility will be published on the web site www.tourisminnovation.lu after the competition has been closed to entries.
a. Selection of two winners
The choice of winners will be made by the jury in two stages.
The jury will meet during the first half of July 2018 to analyse the applications. Additional accounting and economic documents may be requested by the jury and site visits to applicant enterprises may take place if they are deemed to be necessary. Experts may be consulted, if necessary, to assist in analysing projects.
The jury will establish a short-list of the six most innovative applications (three in each of the categories) before mid-July, and they will be informed of their selection by registered letter.
The six short-listed applicants will be required to provide the following documents within two weeks of their notification:
– a sworn declaration that the enterprise has not reached the de minimis aid ceiling of EUR 200,000 in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 on aid (form provided by us).
– a certificate of non-obligation with regard to the tax and social security authorities dating back no more than three months showing that the enterprise has fulfilled its obligations in relation to the payment of contributions, taxes and levies.
The six short-listed applicants will be invited to the Ministry of the Economy during the first half of September to present their projects individually to the jury. The jury will select the winners in the two categories. It reserves the right to exclude applicants or to withdraw awards from applicants which have provided inaccurate or incomplete information. The jury also reserves the right not to make an award if it considers that there is no application which meets the conditions for receiving an award.
b. Public Prize
The Public Prize will be awarded independently of the jury’s work. The public will be asked to vote via the web site www.tourisminnovation.lu naming their favourite project among all those entered. The vote will be open from the date on which the projects are placed online until 9 September 2018.
IX. Award ceremony
The official award ceremony is planned to be held by end of September 2018. During the award ceremony, the projects of the six short-listed enterprises as well as the project winning the Public Prize will be presented.
The information published on the web site www.tourisminnovation.lu will be that provided by the applicants in their project sheets. Applicants may opt not to have their project published online. All other information, documents, data, etc. submitted by applicants will be treated in the strictest confidence. The jury undertakes not to disclose information it obtains when examining the applications presented by applicants.
 According to the definition set by Community Recommendation No 2003/361: the enterprise employs fewer than 250 people and its turnover does not exceed EUR 50 million or its balance sheet total does not exceed EUR 43 million.
 Any reward within the context of the Tourism Innovation Award will be attributed in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 on de minimis aid.