The Malta Independent 27 April 2017, Thursday

€100,000 allocation towards award to help researchers and entrepreneurs

Monday, 20 March 2017, 16:51 Last update: about 2 months ago

The Malta Marittima Agency (MMA), in collaboration with the University of Malta, launched the Maritime Seed Award (MarSA), where a total of €100,000 will be allocated through a competitive call to innovators and entrepreneurs interested in bringing their ideas closer to commercialisation.

The announcement was made at a ceremony on 20  March, attended by Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy Emmanuel Mallia, the University of Malta Rector Professor Alfred J. Vella, Pro Rector Prof. Saviour Zammit, Director CEBI Prof. Russell Smith, Director KTO Dr Ing. Anton Bartolo, and Chairman of the Malta Marittima Agency Dr Daniel Aquilina.

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Minister Emmanuel Mallia said: "It is the policy of this administration to assist and support innovative and creative individuals to succeed.  We are exploring and focusing our efforts on this dynamic sector, which is undoubtedly a priority area for Malta. Providing financial assistance at this stage is of fundamental importance to help individuals transform their creative ideas into concepts leading to commercialization".

University of Malta research academics may apply for MarSA 'Proof of concept' funds that will help take their innovation closer to commercialisation. Entrepreneurs may apply for MarSA 'Seed' funds that will enable them to take their technology or knowledge-based start-up closer to its first customer or to further investment. The University Knowledge Transfer Office and TAKEOFF teams will help mentor award winners, in order to advance their technology or business development.

The University of Malta Maritime Platform was also launched by its Chair, Prof. Inġ. Claire De Marco, during the ceremony. "The University Maritime Platform was created to meet the challenges and demands of the marine-related industries and services, and to put the University in pole position for a more effective role in maritime initiatives at local and international levels. The platform will act as a point of reference, influence maritime policy and its implementation, and support collaboration with clusters, centres, programmes, networks and individuals. University academics with a maritime interest who are willing to contribute to the platform are invited to join."

The deadline for submission of written applications for MARsa is Tuesday 25 April at noon. TAKEOFF will be organising a workshop weekend for interested applicants on Saturday, 8th April 2017. For further details visit www.takeoff.org.mt


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