On Friday 8th October, Owen Bonnici as Minister for Equality, Research & Innovation, together with the University of Malta and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, inaugurated a new scheme for research on a post-doctorate level. Is this the moment Malta truly places innovation at the forefront of its economy?
Happy to hear
For us at Gadgets, it’s great news, as we too have been calling for more funding towards research and innovation projects. To see the governmental, industrial and education sectors come together is promising, and we can only applaud these kinds of moves.
Chamber President Marisa Xuereb hailed the move as a moment of pride for all involved. “Until a few years ago, this was simply a dream…today is the day we start to bear the fruit from our efforts over the years”, she said during a press conference inaugurating the scheme.
“The keys to the future,” she further stated, “is knowledge, our workers’ capabilities but also the level of research that we can offer”. It is the level of innovation in a given industry that will determine its success in the future, and the only way to reach those levels of innovation is through quality research.
One of the issues to be addressed by this post-doctorate is Malta’s lack of equilibrium in terms of services offered versus manufacturing, with the latter being somewhat slower in developing. “Manufacturing has not evolved at the same speed is because technology in Malta has not developed at the same rate and therefore could not keep up with the increasing standard of living”, Xuereb explained.
Lots of potential to unlock
In his first press conference as the newly-elected Pro-Rector for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Professor Ing. Simon Fabri revealed that the three entities behind this scheme are committed to aiding researchers who already have high research capabilities. What the scheme will do is support these researchers and if possible provide a commercial aspect to their research. This way, they will also be contributing to Malta’s industrial network.
Minister Bonnici echoed Xuereb’s and Fabri’s sentiments, saying that unveiling this scheme is the culmination of years of work. “Researchers graduating with a PhD will be able to immediately apply their talents in areas that already exist, and companies will be able to leverage these talents better”, Bonnici stated.
“There’s a lot of potential that can be unlocked and commercialised”, he also said. “This will allow Maltese industries to evolve and reach international standards”. This scheme is in place to solve current world challenges, while also delving into what we might face in years to come.
Its main goal will be to improve current technologies, establish a sustainable environment, while also creating a platform for researchers to communicate more between themselves and students from other universities. There’s also the opportunity for financial aid, whether at a local or EU level. Minister Bonnici also revealed that a similar scheme will be made available at MCAST at a post-masters level.