Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia launches the Business Enhance RD&I Grant Scheme, valued at €20 million

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Speaking at a press conference at the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia noted that new business realities create opportunities and that there is a growing consensus that we are witnessing a fundamental transformation in the world of work. “In a social market economy, we must ensure that these opportunities are available for everyone and do not lead to new vulnerabilities and inequalities and to a lower awareness of rights”, Dr Farrugia said.

“Research, Development, and Innovation is the future, not just of Malta, but also of the world. The future of work is already being discussed on a global level, and from what we can see there are certain issues such as automation that require solutions. In other words, we must be innovative if we wish to continue flourishing as an economic centre and as a country”, said the Parliamentary Secretary.

With an allocation of 20 million euro this scheme is aimed at providing assistance through a grant to enterprises to part-finance eligible expenditure in investment in research, technological development, and innovation whilst it intends to address priority areas identified in the Smart Specialisation Strategy including: Manufacturing, Aviation and Aerospace, Health, ICT, Tourism Product Development, and Maritime Services.

Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia explained that the Business Enhance RD&I Grant Scheme shall be addressing the Specific Objective under Operational Programme I, therefore the strengthening of competitiveness of the private sector through R&D&I, by providing finance to enterprises to conduct R&D&I interventions in line with the Smart Specialisation Strategy, this through four specific measures:

  1. Feasibility Studies in preparation of R&D projects;
  2. The implementation of R&D projects;
  3. The development of research infrastructures; and
  4. Investment in Process Innovation.

Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia noted that the Operational Programme I makes direct reference to the need to enable enterprises to participate in R&D&I in line with the Smart Specialisation Strategy to increase the competitiveness of enterprises through innovation and research and technological development. In this context, the financial incentives remain critical for the further commitment of enterprises in R&D&I.

Dr Farrugia remarked that through the scheme, supported enterprises may exploit their growth potential as a result of the increase in competitiveness through engagement in Research, Technological Development and Innovation, which in itself is an added value. “I want Malta’s leading innovators to use these funds to help build Malta’s economy and society of the future”, concluded the Parliamentary Secretary.