Editorial: Paving the way with tech

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 December, 2021 at 8:05 pm by Andre Camilleri

After speaking with Malta Digitial Innovation Authority, CEO, Kenneth Brincat, it’s evident the overarching aim remains to ensure economic prosperity and growth for the technology sector in Malta. The country has successfully diversified its economy throughout the past years, with the tech sector being a key sector in its own right and a transversal sector supporting the growth of other important areas. Launching pioneering regulation to instil transparency and trust without suffocating the market strengthened Malta’s appeal as a hub for foreign investment in this sector. Although questions remain on the impact of FATF, it’s obvious we need to pull together to keep innovating. The MDIA serves as a hotbed to fuel digital innovation. Having the right frameworks and regulations in place and the support and guidance through growth and development result in the ideal combination to sustain a forward-thinking environment.

Another exciting chapter in Malta’s digital innovation economy is the recently launched Technology Assurance Sandbox. This is in line with other entities such as Tech. Mt’s mission and commitment to shaping an attractive ecosystem for innovative technologies to thrive in. Through the MDIA-TAS, start-ups can test their creations before placing them on the market. It’s here ideas can come to life, and Malta can break new boundaries.

Once again, as a nation, we are fostering the same mentality that pushed the MDIA authority forward: ensuring trust in the technology. Hence, the idea behind the Sandbox is that of start-ups having a final quality product that protects the customer. Solution owners will be guided through a 2-year period through which their product is gradually aligned with internationally established control objectives, which will ultimately lead to complete certification by the MDIA. More emphasis and awareness needs to be given to the tech Sandbox. The Sandbox is aimed at software development which is in its infancy and needs handholding to thrive. The recently published European Innovation Scoreboard (2021) indicates that Malta is on the right track to allow room for innovation to grow, as it ranked 19.2% for non-innovators with the potential to innovate – averaging with the EU’s 19.9%. 

As we have seen with the pandemic, technology will continue to draw the world closer together. However, implementing new, disruptive technologies requires more vital collaboration between the public and private sectors, developed and developing countries, corporates and start-ups. Some very exciting examples are coming from emerging markets – what is allowing them to break new ground? Malta can be a leader here, and we shouldn’t miss this opportunity.

Emerging technologies are presenting emerging markets with new opportunities to innovate. Over the last couple of years, fragmentation has been a big topic in the media and among leaders of business and institutions, as it is at this year’s World Economic Forum. Discussions have often focused on the impact of stronger borders on trade and migration, but we shouldn’t overlook globalization as a continuing force driving innovation. Emerging markets are leading the way to set partnerships to drive transformative innovation.

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