The launch today of a €100,000 scholarship fund for studies and research in Artificial Intelligence is another dimension of Government’s commitment to beef up Malta’s resources in the digital space, said Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy, Clayton Bartolo.
Speaking during a press conference, Mr Bartolo expressed that through this project and scholarships, Malta is opening its doors to tomorrow and for future generations in the digital sectors.
“Our vision is clear – for our country and economy to go through a digital transformation and become a leader in the digital space, which will position us well to take all the opportunities that such a digital transformation can offer,” said Mr Bartolo.
“We also want to create economic niches for Malta to diversify our economy and make it more resilient, future-proof and shock-proof. The key to achieving all this is education, which is the only thing that can guarantee a good future for our children as well as to achieving progress. This should be our legacy for future generations.”
Mr Bartolo stressed that the scholarships are open to anybody interested in studying or researching the subject. “We recognise that AI is going to be used widely – it is present in the private and public sector, in health and all other aspects of life, so this scholarship opportunity is available to everyone,” he said.
“As Government, we are determined to establish a digital framework for Malta, but we can only achieve success by having the right people and a strong pool of human resources, which is Malta’s greatest asset.”
Stephen McCarthy, CEO of the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, said he is encouraged to hear feedback from top international experts that Malta is making strides in the AI space, and continued success can only be achieved through education.
“The AI strategy we launched last October also took this into consideration – education was given its importance in the strategy, and we recognise that education is important for the individual, but also for the country,” said Mr McCarthy. “Artificial Intelligence can help Malta expand its already strong product and strengthen our standard of living. The investment we’re launching today is to continue on this road and expand our knowledge on this subject.”
Prof. Alfred Vella, Rector at the University of Malta, shared that the scholarship fund will assure the widening of knowledge in the important emerging sector of Artificial Intelligence. “That the University of Malta is involved in a project like this is natural as we exist precisely to disseminate education and strengthen the University for the needs of tomorrow.”
“I hope that part of these funds will be used not just to learn about AI and its various applications but also for research. What Malta can do in the space of AI is comparable with that which is being done around the world, including in Silicon Valley,” said Prof Vella. “All you need is natural intelligence that each of us possess, and our great minds are nothing less than those found elsewhere.”