The University of Malta and the Malta Laboratories Network (MLN), within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government (MJCL), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to facilitate joint training activities and closer cooperation in areas dealing with developing quality assurance and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, in accordance with best laboratory practices which satisfy the EU regulatory requirements, including equipment calibration and process validation.
The Malta Laboratories Network is a network of laboratories based in Malta. MLN collaborates with the various stakeholders and operates through a unique model for cooperation. The objectives of the Malta Laboratories Network are to focus on the development, co-ordination and consistency of the laboratory services in Malta, address key strategic issues for the network, such as training, quality management, IT developments, and the improvement and sharing of best practices and exchange of information, as well as to ensure the most effective and efficient use of resources across the network.
The University of Malta, through its various Faculties and Institutes has a large number of laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art facilities which serve its teaching and research activities. Through this agreement, the University of Malta aims to improve its laboratory quality systems. In this respect, the establishment of a strategic partnership with the MLN offers an opportunity for the exchange of experiences and resources between laboratories. This will facilitate the use of the laboratories of the University of Malta to service the needs of the country, when this does not interfere with the teaching and research functions of the University.
The implementation of high quality standards at the University of Malta laboratories demonstrates that these laboratories are able to consistently produce valid and reliable results. The quality elements and resultant best practices of these standards within an academic research environment can further improve the quality of research studies and the practical component of University education, and will facilitate technology transfer, especially in the pharmaceutical and medical field. Accreditation of laboratories may allow the University of Malta to better support local industrial activity and government authorities, by providing access to its resources and expertise at a high level, consistent with that expected by industry and in forensic investigations. For this purpose, the MLN and the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering (DMME) within the Faculty of Engineering are seeking to collaborate on the formalisation of routine testing protocols, calibration procedures and accreditation of laboratories and/or specific tests including bulk mechanical testing and analytical techniques. Discussions are also in progress with other entities within the University of Malta to investigate other areas for networking of laboratories in Malta.
The agreement was signed by Prof. Alfred J. Vella, Rector of the University of Malta, and Mr Johan Galea, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, in the presence of the Hon. Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment, the Hon. Deo Debattista, Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018 and Professor Anthony Serracino Inglott, Chairman of the Malta Laboratories Network.
Prof. Vella commented that this MoU attested to the University's continuous effort to improve its laboratory facilities. “Through this agreement and other internal efforts the University strives to introduce quality systems and best practices at par with international academic institutions and expected industry standards,” he said.