The commercial community is being encouraged to invest more in research and innovation, while it will be assisted with a €20 million European funds scheme to carry out projects in research and innovation. Figures show that currently the investment in research in Malta is among the lowest in E.U. countries.
Parliamentary Secretary for European funds, Aaron Farrugia, stated that while Malta is in the forefront in economic growth, it lacks behind in research and innovation. He said that it was only the University of Malta which until now applied for these funds, however this scheme is available to industries to invest in research.
“Today we can say that big factories and industries which, till now did not avail themselves of these funds, may now apply and make use of them to continue with their development and growth, thus joining in the global race for innovation”, Dr Farrugia added.
With the allocation, a number of sectors identified in the Smart Specialisation Strategy will be addressed, including in manufacturing, aviation and aerospace, health, ICT, tourism product development and maritime service.
During the scheme launching at the Chamber of Commerce, Dr Farrugia said Malta may be the ideal place where research projects are tested and the scheme is aimed at strengthening competitiveness in the private sector.
He stated that the funds may be used for studies in preparation for research and development projects, their implementation, investment in research infrastructure and innovation process.
The first calls for applications for the funds will be issued towards the end of February.