The Malta Independent 25 May 2024, Saturday
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The impact of RIDT on research at the University of Malta

Claudette Buttigieg Sunday, 7 April 2024, 08:44 Last update: about 3 months ago

Founded on the principles of promoting research excellence, fostering collaboration, and securing funding for innovative projects, the Research Innovation Development Trust (RIDT) has played an important role in supporting the research ecosystem at the University of Malta.

Throughout the years RIDT has raised funds, and continues to raise funds, towards research in diverse areas. RIDT also continues to create awareness within the Maltese society on the significant role of the University of Malta as the leading institution and key driver for research and innovation.


One of the most notable impacts of RIDT on research at the University of Malta is its role as a facilitator for funding opportunities for researchers. Through various initiatives, RIDT has provided researchers with access to financial resources essential for conducting high-quality research. This financial support has enabled researchers to pursue ambitious projects, explore new avenues of inquiry, and address pressing societal challenges. By alleviating financial constraints, RIDT has empowered researchers to focus on their work with greater dedication and creativity, thereby enhancing the overall quality and impact of research outputs.

Moreover, RIDT promotes interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge exchange within the university community. Interdisciplinary collaboration not only enriches the research process by integrating different perspectives and expertise but also enhances the potential for innovative breakthroughs and transformative discoveries.

In addition to fostering collaboration within the university, RIDT has also played a crucial role in forging partnerships with external stakeholders, including industry, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.



Medical research, particularly cancer research, remain the projects which attract major donations. Below are some examples of research projects and initiatives which are, or were, financed through RIDT. These projects and intiatives are testimonials to the diversity of the research projects and the outcomes which continue to bear fruit within our society, thanks to the work of the Research, Innovation and Development Trust of the University of Malta.


UM Mobile Dental Clinic: To ensure that the general public realises that good oral health extends beyond a great smile, the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the University set up a mobile dental clinic to provide oral health advice and dental care. By raising €130,000, RIDT was crucial in setting up this project in 2015.

This community project is seeing the mobile dental clinic visit various localities across Malta and Gozo with an aim to reach out to all sectors of society, including the underprivileged, the institutionalised, schools, orphanages, and the homebound elderly.

Another objective of the project is to collect fresh epidemiological data relating to the Maltese population.

Perez D’Aleccio Conservation Project: This major conservation project, under the care of the Department of Conservation and Built Heritage at the University of Malta was completed in 2023.

It developed hand-in-hand with the Department’s Master’s programme in the Conservation of Decorative Architectural Surfaces. In this programme, students were trained, under close supervision, in all areas relating to the documentation, analysis, development of treatments, and hands-on work on real decorated surfaces which form part of our heritage, in this case the iconic wall paintings in the Throne Room of the Grand Master’s Palace.

Today, the work done by the University of Malta is a blue print for future conservation projects and collaborations in the preservation of our heritage. RIDT was crucial in garnering all the funds for this project with the collaboration of the Gasan Foundation, the Melita Foundation and the Planning Authority.

Payroll Giving supports PhD Students: In collaboration with the Doctoral School of the University of Malta, RIDT is offering grants to allow doctoral students to present their research overseas. Presenting research at international conferences increases the visibility of both the student and the university within the academic community. It showcases the institution's commitment to research excellence and contributes to its reputation as a hub for scholarly inquiry.

Conferences provide valuable networking opportunities for PhD students to connect with researchers, academics, and professionals from around the world. These connections can lead to collaborations and possible access to further resources such as funding and data.

Presenting research allows students to receive feedback from experts in their field. This feedback can help refine their work, validate their findings, and identify areas for further investigation, ultimately enhancing the quality and rigor of their research.

Funds for these grants are generated through the voluntary staff payroll scheme at the University of Malta and the Juniour College. This scheme is currently being revamped with the aim of recruiting more staff members willing to support the University of Malta researchers in their target to achieve excellence.


Claudette Buttigieg is Senior Executive Officer, Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT)

Photos: University of Malta 

The RIDT is appealing to the whole community to consider making a donation, big or small, to the University of Malta through the RIDT. This will make a tangible difference in advancing groundbreaking research, nurturing talent, and shaping a brighter future for generations to come.

Whether you choose to give now or include RIDT in your will, your generosity will leave a lasting impact on our university and the world beyond. By joining RIDT in this mission, you become a vital part of our journey towards discovery and progress.

To learn more and support RIDT visit

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