The Department of Computer Science & AI of the University of Malta strongly believes that the academic training that University students undertake is only one aspect of their education which they acquire at University. This should be accompanied and corroborated by skills and knowledge useful in the real-world. This vision coincides with those of the Malta Financial Services Authority, the Ministry for Industry, Investment and IT and the Malta Council for Science & Technology - all of which strongly believe in the need for more innovative industry. The aim of the workshop was to make students aware of the opportunities available and set them thinking about how their knowledge can be transformed into a marketable, innovative product.
The workshop was opened by Professor Joe Bannister, Chairman of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), who encouraged such initiatives to direct students into more fruitful use of their newly acquired knowledge. The morning session started off with a presentation 'Where Ideas and Opportunities Meet' by Professor Juanito Camilleri, CEO of Go Mobile. This was followed by a hands on workshop, where students split up into small groups, each trying to identify and plan an innovative idea, taking it from the concept stage to the development, and marketing stage. IT graduates and entrepreneurs acted as mentors to the students. These ideas ranged from Digital Photography services to a route planning and traffic notification system. They were presented by the students. Dr Alex Mifsud, CEO and co-founder of Ixaris Ltd, a UK based company, developing innovative e-payment and financial systems gave a presentation on making a business plan happen. He wove the student ideas into his presentation, explaining the good points of the proposals and what they lacked, or failed to address. The afternoon sessions were varied, from presentations about the local procedure required to set up a company and finding financial support, to presentations about opportunities and organisations which can help the new entrepreneur.
The official programme, including profiles of the speakers and their presentations can be found at http://www.cs.um.edu.mt/ITB. For more details, contact Dr Gordon Pace at email@example.com.