Research, development and innovation (RD&I) is a critical element for enterprises to remain competitive, take advantage of their growth potential, and innovate through the development of innovative products and solutions. Despite the progress registered in recent years, Malta has been identified as a moderate innovator, and a number of challenges need to be addressed.
This includes the limited participation in RD&I due to financing limitations, and the need for enterprises to be more competitive to engage in research activities with other enterprises as well as academia, as well as through research and innovation.
On 11th January 2018, Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia launched the Business Enhance RD&I Grant Scheme, which is aimed at supporting enterprises through the provision of non-repayable grants when engaging in Research, Development and Innovation actions in line with the Smart Specialization Strategy. The incentive has a financial allocation of €20 million through the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020, with a co-financing rate of 80 per cent from EU funds and 20 per cent from national funds. The scheme is administered by the Measures and Support Division within the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality.
The scheme supports a number of priority areas identified in the Smart Specialization Strategy primarily high-value-added manufacturing with a focus on process and design, tourism product development, maritime services, aviation and aerospace; health with a focus on healthy and active ageing and e-health solutions; and ICT, both as an enabler of innovation and a source of innovation in itself.
Eligible enterprises may receive support through the scheme under four specific measures, namely support for the development of feasibility studies in preparation for planned R&D projects; support for the implementation of R&D projects; support for investment in research infrastructures; and support for investment in process innovation.
More information on the Scheme may be accessed through the Business Enhance ERDF grant schemes website on www.businessenhance.gov.mt or by contacting the helpdesk on [email protected]