Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg together with University of Malta’s Director for the Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office, Dr Ing. Anton Bartolo and Transport Malta Chairman Joseph Bugeja announced the opening of applications for the ‘Maritime Proof of Concept Fund’.
This fund is a government budget measure and offers €100,000 for innovative initiatives related to the maritime sector. Every project can be awarded up to a maximum of €25,000. To this end, an MoU was signed between Transport Malta and the University of Malta.
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg said that, “Innovation is at the heart of this Government’s holistic vision, not least in the maritime sector, a pillar of our economy, which generates over 14% of our Gross Domestic Product and creates thousands of jobs. The registry alone, in terms of tonnage has increased by 22% and by 65% in terms of superyachts registry over the last four years. Nowadays, there are over 950 superyachts registered under the Malta flag, thus making Malta the world leading Register in the yachting industry. The sector has seen major growth and celebrated a number of successful endeavours namely the classification as one of the 20 best performing flag States on the Paris MOU White List in 2021. Yet, this is only the beginning as with quality, confidence and reputation we want to move forward towards more sustainable growth, more jobs and a consistently stronger economy.”
Transport Malta Chairman Joseph Bugeja said that, “this cooperation has been ongoing for four years and the Authority is pleased to once again launch this initiative to provide funds for education, research and innovation to lead to the actualisation of this important idea.”
“The maritime industry is the backbone of local and global trade, and it will get more competitive as time goes by. Constant research is thus needed to maintain our advantage in one of the most important transport activities through the development of new products, methods and concepts that respond to industrial needs. I thus hope that these funds will encourage entities to commit themselves and invest their time in this area, to help us maintain our competitive edge”, said University Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella.
This initiative started in 2017. In total, €400,000 were allocated for the last four years and another €200,000 were allocated for the oncoming two years - €100,000 per year – including 2021.
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 Monday 6 September 2021 at 10:00 while the Seed Fund Workshops will be held online on Monday 13 September 2021 at 14:00.
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.
For further details on the scheme and to register for the workshop, visit the TAKEOFF website.