Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg together with University of Malta’s Director for the Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office Anton Bartolo and Transport Malta Chairman Joseph Bugeja recently announced the launch of the ‘Maritime Proof of Concept Fund’. This fund allocates €100,000 for innovative initiatives related to the maritime sector. Each project can receive up to a maximum of €20,000. This initiative is not a first for Malta with €300,000 awarded in similar initiatives since 2017 and further €300,000 to be assigned in the next three-year period.
Minister Ian Borg said that, “innovation is at the centre of this Government’s work, not least in the maritime sector. We are speaking about a pillar of our economy, which generates more than 14% of our Gross Domestic Product and creates thousands of jobs. The registry alone has almost doubled in tonnage in the last 7 years, and in just 2019 we had a 7% increase in registrations of both merchant ships and superyachts. This year, this sector has already seen several initiatives taken by the Authority towards digitisation, because Government always wants to put innovation at the centre of its work. We want to move forward towards more sustainable growth, more jobs and a consistently stronger economy.”
University of Malta’s Director for the Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office Anton Bartolo said that, “the Maritime Seed Award seeks to encourage and spur researchers and entrepreneurs to embrace their innovative ideas and steer them forward. In doing so, we also hope that young potential innovators will be inspired by the ventures supported by the Award, enough so to become creators themselves.”
Transport Malta Chairman Joseph Bugeja said that, “this cooperation has been ongoing for three years and the Authority is pleased to once again launch this initiative for three more years with funds allocated for education, research and innovation to lead to the actualisation of this important idea.”