“We can really claim to contribute to the advancement of research at the international level to improve the well-being of populations,” says Aline Muller, CEO of the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). Explanations.
Tell us about your background in a few words
After a doctorate in international finance at the University of Maastricht almost twenty years ago, I had an academic career at universities in the Netherlands, Belgium and finally here in Luxembourg. My area of specialization and my commitment to university development cooperation very quickly emphasized the international character of my career. This led me to spend most of my time outside Europe. Very early on I had the chance to be involved in the strategic development of research management. Above all I worked in close collaboration with very inspiring figures driven by a desire to make institutions evolve. Throughout my career, I have been educated, trained. I have grown to become an instrument for the blossoming and promotion of research: Blossoming to create the conditions for the development of researchers; blossoming to allow research to have the means to push back the frontiers of our knowledge. I have helped contribute to the tenfold increase in the impact research has had on society through innovations that enrich its transformation.
Luxembourg offers us a particularly rich field of observation in the heart of Europe
How do you define LISER’s missions?
LISER’s mission focuses on the development and promotion of fundamental and applied research in the social sciences. It aims to meet societal challenges and provide tangible and concrete answers to meet the social and economic needs of our society. LISER seeks to contribute to sustainable socio-economic development based on knowledge, but it does not wish to do so in isolation, locked in an ivory tower. We are convinced that the transformations of society must be co-created with society’s citizens and actors. By collecting, analyzing and exploiting information provided by our fellow citizens we aspire to improve the quality of life of the population and to support society in its evolution. LISER thus aims to enlighten and inform society, as well as to inform the actions of public authorities and socio-economic actors, at national and international levels.
What is the future for public research in Luxembourg?
Public research in Luxembourg has distinctive assets. These must be exploited to produce tangible and concrete impacts for the economy. More broadly, these assets also mean that Luxembourg can forge its identity on the international scene. The close links between public research and the political and socio-economic actors of the country offer us the possibility of moving forward more quickly and coordinating ourselves more effectively. Luxembourg also offers us many opportunities to advance to the forefront of our European partners by offering us a particularly rich field of observation in the heart of Europe. We can combine these strengths with our ever-increasing ability and agility to coordinate research among institutions. In this way we can combine complementary skills in an unprecedented and innovative way (see what happened through the Luxembourg Research Task Force during the Covid-19 crisis). We can also contribute to the advancement of research at the international level to improve the well-being of the population. This is especially the case as all these distinctive elements are attracting more and more talent to Luxembourg! In my view, a virtuous circle can be set in motion.