With the help of the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure & Capital Projects, the University of Malta’s Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office, has just announced the opening of applications for a fund called ‘The Maritime Proof of Concept Fund’.
This fund, which is allocating a total of €100,000 towards innovative initiatives in the maritime sector, is a Government budget measure and offers every project up to a maximum of €20,000.
To this end, Transport Malta and the University of Malta signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in hopes of encouraging researchers and entrepreneurs to embrace their ideas and steer them forward.
University of Malta’s Director for the Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office Dr Ing Anton Bartolo said, "The Maritime Seed Award seeks to encourage young potential innovators to be inspired by the ventures supported by the Award, enough so to become creators themselves.”
Minister Ian Borg said, “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 digitalisation, 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.”
Transport Malta Chairman Mr Joseph Bugeja said, “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.”
This initiative started in 2017, with €300,000 allocated for the last three years and another €300,000 allocated for the coming three years - €100,000 per year – including 2020.
Applicants are invited to attend the relevant mandatory online orientation session which will provide further information about MarSA and offer advice on how to prepare and complete the written applications. The Proof of Concept workshop will be held online on Thursday 10 September while the Seed Fund Workshops will be held online on Monday 14 September.
Workshops for this year’s cycle are compulsory, and applications will only be accepted if applicants or critical team members register and attend the respective MarSA workshop.
More information may be sought from the TAKEOFF website.