Malta – The Innovation Island
- Changemakers Editor
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Malta is on route to become a leading country in innovative areas, both where startups are concerned and through innovative initiatives from established companies and the government.
As it is showing in the field of blockchain & AI (artificial intelligence), Malta has a set of unique characteristics that can marry prompt yet detailed legislation to a thriving ecosystem of stakeholders – making it the perfect innovation testbed.
While cities like Tel Aviv, London, Berlin and of course Silicon Valley are leading the race for the best innovation ecosystem, Malta’s recent past is a good indication that the seeds of a good startup ecosystem have been sown and it is now up to us, the stakeholders, to help it come into fruition.
More established companies in Malta have also refined their pitch to be able to compete internationally. Some were forced to do so, while others had leaders who had the foresight to instil an innovative culture within a growing organisation.
In the last 50 years since becoming an independent republic, Malta has continued to grow year on year, and establish itself as a hub for the IT Services, Financial Services, Remote Gaming, and Tourism sectors.
The success that came from these sectors in recent years can only be sustained if Malta adopts a more innovative culture at all levels.
Malta has an ambitious Research & Innovation Strategy 2020. The Maltese government has made a commitment with the European Commission that the R&D target will be revised upwards to 2% of GDP to contribute to the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation goals.
The government is putting more emphasis on directly promoting innovation. This falls under the Office of the Prime Minister, and has Hon. Silvio Schembri as the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation. Even government agencies or those linked in some way to the government like MITA, MCA, MCST, Malta Enterprise, MIMCOL, Malta Stock Exchange, Malta Development Bank, MFSA, University of Malta, and MCAST are pushing the innovation agenda across the island.
Activity of angel investors, incubators, accelerators and crowdfunding is increasing on the island.
The seeds are there for Malta to be THE premier Innovation Island. The Malta Innovation Summit is here to accelerate this.