Prof. Georgios Yannakakis, from the University of Malta’s Institute of Digital Games, has received an award as the Most Active Researcher at the Horizon 2020 Europe Awards event.
This is not the first recognition of Prof. Yannakakis’ extremely prolific career as a researcher, as he has recently been listed in the World Ranking of Top Computer Scientists, been appointed Associate Editor of leading AI journal IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, and presented at the Congreso Futuro Conference, one of the most important for a for the dissemination of science and technology in the Southern Hemisphere.
In a brief video interview by MCST on this special occasion, Prof. Yannakakis said the Institute of Digital Games has managed to attract funding for 9 projects under the Horizon 2020 Framework, to the collective tune of €2 million of the €23 million available through the H2020 Fund. In the 15 years he’s been active in the areas of Games and AI, he has witnessed a core revolution in the industry, and has promised to keep conducting research on ways games can assist AI to advance and vice-versa.
Organised by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), the Horizon 2020 Awards have awarded a number of beneficiaries for having participated in research and innovation projects within the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.
Achievements were recognised in nine different award categories, eight for legal entities and one for individual researchers.
The categories awarded were: (1) Best Impact for Health, (2) Security or Smart Mobility Award, (3) The Green Award, (4) The Blue Award, (5) Gender, Culture, Equality or Citizen Science Award, (6) Best Innovative SME Award, (7) Best Promotion of STEM Award, (8) Best Technological Innovation Award and (9) Most Active Researcher Award.
Present at the ceremony held at the Chaplain’s Hall, at Esplora, Minister for Research, Innovation and Co-Ordination of the post-COVID-19 Strategy, Hon. Owen Bonnici, addressed the awardees, saying he is very pleased to see researchers avidly participating in this Framework Programme, the largest in Europe, as he believes Research and Innovation can help the country reconcile economic growth with wellbeing and environmental protection. He thanked MCST and the European Commission for supporting Malta in bolstering the ecosystem of R&I in the country.
European Commissioner for Innovation, Research & Culture, Ms Mariya Gabriel, gave a rendition of Malta’s performance in the 2012-2020 Horizon Framework, saying Malta has improved its performance by 24.7%, which means researchers are doing incredibly well in collaborating on projects and participating in internationalisation activities. “Malta is a country of talented researchers with big potential for impactful research”, she told all those following.
Naval Architectural Services Ltd, the company who accepted the Blue Award, has also had the University of Malta as one of its partners for VENTuRE, Virtual and Physical Experimental Towing centre for the design of energy-efficient sea-faring vessels, another project funded by Horizon 2020.
The launch, and the full list of awardees, can be re-viewed on the Horizon Europe YouTube channel: