Are you a budding entrepreneur with a new technology or innovative business idea but lack the initial funding to bring it closer to market? Or a University of Malta academic interested in taking early stage technology from lab to life?
The Malta Marittima Agency (MMA), in collaboration with the University of Malta, launched the Maritime Seed Award (MarSA) with the support of the University’s Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO), TAKEOFF Business Incubator and Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation (CEBI). A total of €100,000 will be allocated through a competitive call to innovators and entrepreneurs interested in bringing their ideas closer to commercialisation.
The announcement was made at a ceremony on the 20 March attended by Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy, the Hon. Emmanuel Mallia, the University of Malta Rector, Professor Alfred J. Vella, Pro Rector Prof. Saviour Zammit, Prof. Russell Smith, Director CEBI, Dr Ing. Anton Bartolo, Director KTO, and Chairman of the Malta Marittima Agency, Dr Daniel Aquilina.
The Hon. Emmanuel Mallia stated that 'It is the policy of this administration to assist and support innovative and creative individuals to succeed. We are exploring and focusing our efforts on this dynamic sector, which is undoubtedly a priority area for Malta. Providing financial assistance at the stage is of fundamental importance to help individuals transform their creative ideas into concepts leading to commercialisation.'
University of Malta research academics may apply for MarSA ‘Proof of concept’ funds that will help take their innovation closer to commercialisation. Entrepreneurs may apply for MarSA ‘Seed’ funds that will enable them to take their technology or knowledge-based start-up closer to its first customer or to further investment. The University Knowledge Transfer Office and TAKEOFF teams will help mentor award winners in order to advance their technology or business development.
The University of Malta Maritime Platform was also launched by its Chair, Prof. Inġ. Claire De Marco, during the ceremony. 'The University Maritime Platform was created to meet the challenges and demands of the marine-related industries and services, and to put the University in pole position for a more effective role in maritime initiatives at local and international levels. The platform will act as a point of reference, influence maritime policy and its implementation, and support collaboration with clusters, centres, programmes, networks and individuals. University academics with a maritime interest who are willing to contribute to the platform are invited to join.'
The deadline for submission of written applications for MarSA is Tuesday 25 April at noon. TAKEOFF will be organising a workshop for interested applicants on Saturday, 8 April 2017. For further details visit www.takeoff.org.mt