Malta Life Sciences Park emphasises Innovation & Growth

Daniel Frendo | Published on 12 May 2016

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Dr Maria Chetcuti Cauchi and Dr Daniel Frendo were invited to attend the Malta Life Sciences Park Info Session held on 29th April 2016. The detailed session tackled technical topics whilst forwarding a deep practical outlook.  The session was part of the Go & Learn Project managed by the Malta Business Bureau (MBB) and the Malta University Holding Company (MUHC) as well as the Digital Outreach Unit within MITA. The aim of these sessions is to bring together professionals from the life sciences, creative and innovative industries to discuss projects, innovative concepts, legal requirements, funding opportuntities and other useful ideas that would assist them in creating, implementing and taking forward their novel projects. 

Topics dealt with included Funding Opportunities under the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), crowdfunding and other innovation initiatives undertaken by Malta Enterprise and the development of the Malta Life Sciences Park itself.

Malta Life Sciences - Go & Learn Project & ZAAR

The Go & Learn Project offers a chance to access an international catalogue of training and/or economic discovery seminars. This enables attendees to foster contact with economic fabrics and cultures of different European countries. Any company from the participating countries can join this network and benefit from the advantages of this initiative.

The Foundation for the Promotion of Entrepreneurial Initiatives founded jointly by the MBB and MUHC established ZAAR. ZAAR is a donation/reward-based crowdfunding platform promoting entrepreneurship in Malta and supporting local start-ups. ZAAR precisely offers an alternative platform to raise finance for such projects and business ideas, from donations offered by the general public.

Malta Life Sciences - MITA Digital Outreach Unit & MITA Innovation Hub

MITA is responsible for the pushing of Malta’s digital policy and strategy, through a number of strategic themes mainly IT services, information systems and application and the taking up of ICTs via digital outreaches and innovation management. This is done together with businesses with the aim of assisting different sectors to make better and good use of technology.

The Student Placement Programme, which is coordinated by MITA was also discussed. MITA acts as a facilitator between those companies willing to offer IT students a placement opportunity and students themselves. Through this programme companies can benefit from fiscal schemes and students’ innovative ideas, whilst students are given a first-hand opportunity to translate their academic knowledge into actual practise.

The MITA Innovation Hub is a support platform giving students and start-up founders an opportunity to transform their idea into a tangible product or service through digital technologies.

Malta Life Sciences - MCST Funding Opportunities

Horizon 2020 is the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The programme started in 2014 and will continue to operate up till 2020 with a budget of circa 80 Billion Euro.

This programme ensures that economic growth is promoted and that societal challenges are tackled through research, innovation and technology. Horizon 2020 combines three separate programmes: the Research Framework Programme (FP), innovation-related aspects of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The Programme is composed of three main pillars, being Excellent Science, Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges.

This info session was a very useful and interesting platform for the exchange of creative ideas and new concepts in an environment that promotes innovation and productivity. The Malta Life Sciences Park covers an area of circa 10,000 sqm, of which 5,400 sqm are dedicated to laboratories and units for start-ups, business incubators, meeting rooms to facilitate networking and collaboration and other ancillary activities to the Life Sciences, ICT and Healthcare sectors. The location will enable close collaboration with the University of Malta, the Mater Dei Hospital and the new Oncology Centre, with the possibility of sharing additional specialist facilities and resources. The Life Sciences Park offers life science & ICT companies and businesses within the creative industry the possibility to work together in a modern campus environment, developing an efficient cluster of successful growing enterprises. 

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