Can Maltese Innovators Solve Global Problems?

Manuel Zarb - 11th October 2017

AMANI CEO Deborah Webster talks about the search for Maltese business innovators and what the Ideas From Malta initiative wants to achieve.

Ideas from Malta is a contest to find the best Maltese business innovators. The winning Maltese entry goes on to compete in Ideas From Europe, a pan-European initiative looking for innovators with solutions to global challenges.

“Looking across Europe, Malta has some way to go to generate the same level of quality in business innovation as our European counterparts,” AMANI CEO Deborah Webster told

“The areas we have seen being tackled by Maltese innovators so far are mainly linked to water, education and food. Amongst the semi-finalists we also had a financial services solution and an anti-bullying platform. This is a great start,” said Ms Webster on the entries to Ideas from Malta. “Going forward, we’d like to see a greater understanding of issues we face and bolder, more scalable solutions to tackle them.”

Ideas from Malta looks to make a real difference by finding innovative solutions to problems, looking for both Maltese and international proposals, Ms Webster explained. “However, given the size of the Maltese economy, solutions must have international relevance and applicability. They need a robust financial model and a positive impact on a societal or environmental level.”

Once the period for submissions has closed, the judging panel selects the innovator who will represent Malta at the pan-European level in the Ideas From Europe platform, competing with other European innovators. “The platform provides access to the resources innovators need to implement and scale their idea. The support previous winners have gained ranged from access to regulators and decision-makers, to finance and customers.”

“A secondary objective of this is to stimulate and encourage innovation in Malta, and specifically to grow a pipeline of innovators and potential solutions. We work closely with MITA’s Business Incubator and other stakeholders in the Maltese ecosystem, encouraging innovators to develop ideas and build robust business models. Where we believe we have a team and a solution with what it takes to deliver and succeed, we take them on as part of our portfolio, and are currently in discussions with two.”

Ms Webster concluded by describing the various areas for innovation at the global level. “Consider this: by 2030 we will have added another billion people to the planet. All these people need access to housing, food, education, healthcare, power and so on. Current projections show food demand increasing by 35%, water by 40% and energy by 50%. We need innovation to better utilise our resources, improve business models, enhance productivity, infrastructure and the deployment of capital – whilst simultaneously addressing climate change, our environment and impact on society.”

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