Through an agreement which came into force today, the 8th of October 2021, the Ministry for Equality, Research and Innovation, the University of Malta and the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry committed to strengthening and incentivising research at the University at Post-Doctoral level in collaboration with different economic operators. The schemes aim to valorise the same basic research in sectors such as science and engineering, whilst promoting quality research in the country’s main economic sectors.
The agreement will lead towards a stronger research and innovation sector and came into force after a number of meetings with the entities concerned, where existing problems and shortcomings were discussed and suggestions in order to best address them were welcomed.
This collaboration will lead to the creation of three main research schemes:
• A scheme in collaboration with economic operators;
• A scheme enabling individuals to choose the research field themselves in collaboration with the University and/or a private entity;
• Other individual stakeholder schemes in key economic areas, even in collaboration with foreign universities.
This agreement further strengthens collaboration between academia and the private sector for the dissemination of knowledge, while creating greater research opportunities for students wishing to continue their studies in our own country and creating more job opportunities through the same research being carried out.
The President of the Malta Chamber Marisa Xuereb stressed that, “The Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry has been an advocate of closer industry-academia research collaboration for several years. We are therefore very pleased to see that finally a scheme to support this kind of collaboration is being introduced at the Post-Doctoral Level, and hope that the initiative will grow in scope and magnitude in the coming years. Research and innovation are key to our businesses moving up the value chain. The number of locally-based researchers has increased considerably in recent years and there is a lot of untapped potential. It is high time to engage these promising minds in research that can really give our businesses a competitive edge and provide these researchers with opportunities to make a tangible difference.”
Minister for Equality, Research and Innovation Owen Bonnici, who presided over the signing of this agreement, stated that, “Through this agreement, we are taking an important step in the right direction to strengthen collaboration between academia and the private sector and are therefore paving the way for a robust ecosystem of research and innovation, which is the way forward for our country.”
Pro-Rector for Research and Knowledge Transfer of the University of Malta Prof Ing. Simon Fabri said that, “This agreement between the University, the Ministry and the Chamber of Commerce lays down a strong foundation to further enhance the research endeavours of the University at advanced postdoctoral levels in collaboration with economic operators. We look forward to launching such fellowship schemes, aimed at creating value for society and the economy.”