The Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure & Capital Projects and the University of Malta’s Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office announced the opening of applications for the “Maritime Proof of Concept Fund”. This is a research fund to be awarded to innovators in the maritime sector. Such fund has been made accessible for the fifth consecutive year, with successful applicants eligible for up to €20,000.

The Maritime Proof of Concept Fund, since its creation in 2017, awarded €400,000; with a further €200,000 allocated t the fund for the years 2021 and 2022.

University of Malta’s Director for the Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Office Dr Ing Anton Bartolo said, "The Maritime Seed Award seeks to encourage young potential innovators to be inspired by the ventures supported by the Award, enough so to become creators themselves.”

Minister Ian Borg said, “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 digitalisation, 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.”

Transport Malta Chairman Mr Joseph Bugeja said, “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.”

Applicants will be able to submit their application only following the attendance of a proof of concept workshop to be held online on 9 September, 2021 and a seed fund workshop on 13 September.

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