Thermalytica, a spin-off of the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan, whose technology focuses on enhanced insulation performance adapted for both terrestrial and space applications, has officially announced the opening of a subsidiary in Luxembourg. It plans to transfer its own EU patents rights as well as its exclusive licensing agreement with NIMS concerning European Patent to the new subsidiary in the near future. The office will be located in Technoport, a public technology business incubator located in the south of Luxembourg. “Opening a subsidiary in Luxembourg is another major step for us as we expand into the European market,” comments Rudder Wu, co-founder and CTO of Thermalytica.

The announcement was made in Tsukuba City, where an event dedicated to the startup ecosystems was organised in the context of the official economic mission of Luxembourg to Japan on 10-13 June 2024. His Royal Highness the Hereditary Grand Duke is chairing the economic mission to Japan led jointly by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Xavier Bettel, and the Minister of the Economy, SMEs, Energy and Tourism, Lex Delles. A business delegation, comprising 60 representatives of Luxembourg companies and institutions interested in developing business with Japan, is also part of the mission.

This demonstrates the attractiveness of Luxembourg as a strategic hub for startups to access the European market and beyond.

“I am glad that Thermalytica has decided to open an office in Luxembourg,” stated Minister Delles. This demonstrates the attractiveness of Luxembourg as a strategic hub for startups to access the European market and beyond and the relevance of our Fit 4 Start acceleration program in attracting to Luxembourg foreign startups developing innovative technologies. I hope this success story will inspire other Japanese startups to follow this path.”

Innovative thermal solution

Thermalytica was founded in 2021 in Tsukuba City. The deep tech startup focuses on providing innovative material solutions to help companies to lower their carbon footprints. It has developed a patented materials technology (TIISA®) that provides an innovative thermal solution for both terrestrial and space applications, that can be used in key sectors such as energy infrastructure, aviation and space, as well as, global hydrogen supply chain or net-zero energy buildings, among others. Thermalytica is the 16th spin-out company from NIMS, backed by the Japanese government, and the first one and only to have received direct investments from NIMS. Furthermore, it has been selected in 2023 as a “J-Startup” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). METI chooses 50 startups every year from more than 10,000 companies for this prestigious recognition.

For all these reasons, it made perfect sense for us to embark on our European journey from Luxembourg.

Thermalytica’s first contacts with Luxembourg date back to 2023. That year, as a selected “J-Startup”, they were officially invited to participate in a business delegation led by Mr Tatsuo Igarashi, the Mayor of Tsukuba City. This delegation attended a large ICT fair in Luxembourg, where Thermalytica showcased its products and services as an exhibitor. In addition to the warm welcome received during its visit, its attention was also drawn to the Fit 4 Start acceleration programme. “Following our initial visit to Luxembourg in 2023, everything moved very quickly thanks to our selection in the Fit 4 Start acceleration programme, which was a true milestone in the development of our startup,” says Mr Wu.

Startup acceleration

Fit 4 Start was initiated by the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and is managed by Luxinnovation. It is open to startups from all over the world. It supports digital, healthtech, and space start-ups from their early stages by offering, over a period of 6 months, funding of €50,000 euros and tailored coaching for early-stage needs. Additionally, to complement this programme, an extra €100,000 is available for start-ups that successfully participated in Fit 4 Start and manage to raise private capital within 12 months following the start of the programme. Thermalytica was the first Japanese startup to get selected in the acceleration programme since its launch in 2015 and is one of the 20 participants of the current 14th edition of Fit 4 Start.

“I am very impressed by the spirit of openness and collaboration that prevails within the Luxembourg startup ecosystem,” says Mr Wu. We greatly appreciated the support received through Fit 4 Start, particularly in establishing our strategy and identifying potential customers in Europe. For all these reasons, it made perfect sense for us to embark on our European journey from Luxembourg.”