Prof. Sammut spoke about the notion of research that is predominantly funded to reach commercialisation in a short time, which is not conducive to innovation in the long-term. Despite the challenges faced, there are a number of ongoing projects within the Faculty of Science, mostly in collaboration with other international projects, such as the 10 million Euro project Hybrid Optomechanical Technologies (HOT), the first Maltese-led COST action MyWAVE and the Geosciences Department having three funded projects under Horizon 2020. Academics of the Faculty are currently involved in over 40 mostly international projects worth in total over 45 million Euro, of which the university’s share is about 5 million.
The Rector, Prof. Alfred Vella, congratulated the students and addressed the need for Malta to attract even more students towards STEM subjects. Hon. Clifton Grima praised the significant research and various outreach activities in collaboration with the Directorate of Curriculum to continuously attract students to science, and stated that the University does not only prepare students for the present needs of society but equips them with knowledge and skills for future activities.
Mr Wayne Grech, the recipient of the Technoline special prize for science thanked his family, friends and staff for the constant support that made his dreams a reality, and is grateful to the quality and quantity of excellent research being conducted at the Faculty. Furthermore, he encouraged students not to let failure stop them but keep on persevering in furthering their education, as this in itself is character building.