Minister for the Economy and Industry Silvio Schembri announced a €100,000 investment in Artificial Intelligence scholarships for students by the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, during a press conference in which the minister gave details on the second call for scholarships entitled ‘Pathfinder’, aimed at those who are interested in following a course at Masters or PhD levels in Artificial Intelligence.
The minister said that, unlike last year, the current call is wider, and more students are expected. “We want to increase the number of people who have graduated in ICT, including Artificial Intelligence, and this is being addressed precisely with this scheme”. He explained that Artificial Intelligence offers an opportunity for several careers of quality. Among these are robotics in manufacturing, data analytics which analyses the data collected, computational linguist where a professional builds systems that perform certain functions such as speech recognition, machine translation or grammar checking, game developer who uses AI to complement a computer or console game and software engineering which analyses the needs and builds software according to those same needs.
Minister Schembri urged all those interested in this sector to get in touch with MDIA to enquire how they can benefit from this fund by visiting the website www.mdia.gov.mt/pathfinder.
“When you look at the developments that are taking place both at European and international level, you will notice that the world is moving towards more dependence on technology. Thus, Malta will be able to be at the forefront if the human resource in this aspect is also strong”, he added.
The minister concluded that the Malta Digital Innovation Authority was set up to raise the level of the local technology ecosystem. The Authority has been tasked with overseeing the implementation of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, which was announced in 2019 – a strategy aiming to turn Malta into the best platform for AI by 2030, prompting a strong investment in local education.
MDIA CEO Stephen McCarthy and Officer Greta Attard said each applying student can enjoy a maximum of €10,000. This fund covers 80% of tuition fees, all bench fees, and a study allowance of € 3,600 which is calculated pro-rata. The educational institution with which the student will take the course must be recognised by the Malta Further and Higher Education Authority.