During their visit, Minister for Research, Innovation and the Co-ordination of Post Covid-19 Strategy Owen Bonnici and Minister for Education Justyne Caruana announced the newly built MCAST Resource Centre will open its doors to staff and students by the new academic year in October.
The Resource Centre is part of a €32.8 million European Union co-funded project and the college’s strategic plan for vocational education, research and campus facilities that will continue to establish the college as a centre of excellence. The state-of-the-art centre, which includes a new library, flexible learning spaces and an auditorium, will heighten the college’s drive in research and innovation.
Minister Owen Bonnici said that, “This investment will serve to help place MCAST as a leader in international applied research. At the recent Research and Innovation Expo held last month, we witnessed the varied vocational and applied research at the college with over 90 researchers and professionals immersed in different specialisations”.
He continued saying that, “Creating an international hub will help researchers develop solutions for society’s pressing problems and opportunities for industry. MCAST will continue to secure international collaboration with universities, higher education providers, industry partners and research laboratories. As a government, we are committed to continue working towards building a robust ecosystem full of innovation through research.”
Minister Justyne Caruana said that, “As the MCAST student population and the need for upskilling continue to grow, improving resources and accessibility is a high priority and the impetus for continued investment. We need to create dynamic learning spaces where lecturers and students can be inspired to collaborate and create. The aim is for strategic industry partners and the public to use the services offered by the college. With this openness, we will effectively create learning opportunities for all within the wider community”.
MCAST Principal and CEO Professor Joachim James Calleja said that, “The College is participating in 19 international projects with an investment of over €2.5 million. With the new infrastructure, we can continue to grow internationally and establish MCAST as a centre of excellence in vocational education and training. The research and innovation hub is unique in that the college is well placed to encourage collaboration with industry and an interdisciplinary approach. Our success lies in having access to different areas of expertise and being able to share it. We will extend our cooperation beyond the campus while providing our students with opportunities to connect directly with potential employers”.
Building work on the Resource Centre has been completed while work on the mechanical and electrical installations is currently in progress. The building was designed and built to maximise efficiency and functionality, focusing on connectivity, lighting and ventilation design to ensure low energy consumption and conservation. The centre will house an auditorium with a seating and exhibition space of over 600 square metres and an additional exhibition and flexible learning space of around 500 square metres. The building design includes spaces that are conducive to both individual and group learning, including the use of the outdoor space as a reading area.