€100,000 for innovative initiatives in the maritime sector – applications open

Reference Number: PR201649, Press Release Issue Date: Sep 03, 2020
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg together with University of Malta’s Director for the Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office Anton Bartolo and Transport Malta Chairman Joseph Bugeja announced the opening of applications for the ‘Maritime Proof of Concept Fund’. This fund is a government budget measure and offers €100,000 for innovative initiatives related to the maritime sector. Every project can be awarded up to a maximum of €20,000. To this end, Transport Malta and the University of Malta signed an MoU.

Minister Ian Borg said that, “innovation is at the centre of this Government’s work, not least in the maritime sector. We are speaking about a pillar of our economy, which generates more than 14% of our Gross Domestic Product and creates thousands of jobs. The registry alone has almost doubled in tonnage in the last 7 years, and in just 2019 we had a 7% increase in registrations of both merchant ships and superyachts. This year, this sector has already seen several initiatives taken by the Authority towards digitisation, because Government always wants to put innovation at the centre of its work. We want to move forward towards more sustainable growth, more jobs and a consistently stronger economy.”

University of Malta’s Director for the Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office Anton Bartolo said that, “the Maritime Seed Award seeks to encourage and spur researchers and entrepreneurs to embrace their innovative ideas and steer them forward. In doing so, we also hope that young potential innovators will be inspired by the ventures supported by the Award, enough so to become creators themselves.”
Transport Malta Chairman Joseph Bugeja said that, “this cooperation has been ongoing for three years and the Authority is pleased to once again launch this initiative for three more years with funds allocated for education, research and innovation to lead to the actualisation of this important idea.”

This initiative started in 2017, with €300,000 allocated for the last three years and another €300,000 allocated for the coming three years - €100,000 per year – including 2020.

Applicants are invited to attend the relevant mandatory online orientation session which will provide further information about the Maritime Seed Fund (MarSA) and offer advice on how to prepare and complete the written applications. The ‘Proof of Concept Workshop’ will be held online on Thursday 10th September while the ‘Seed Fund Workshops’ will be held online on Monday 14th September. Workshops for this year’s cycle are compulsory, and applications will only be accepted if applicants or critical team members register and attend the respective Marsa workshop.