Malta envisages setting up national space strategy

The island country shoots for the moon

(source: Unsplash/Adam Miller)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 8 May, 2019 at 8:17 pm by Christian Keszthelyi

Malta unveiled its vision for developing a National Space Strategy through setting up a space task force that will investigate how establishing a regulatory framework for the commercial space sector and space research can contribute to the local economy, a press release by the government’s Department of Information (DOI) says.

The government aims to develop a strategy through an international consultation process. “This is the first time ever that Malta is looking at seriously exploring the commercial potential related to space,” said Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation.

The strategy is anticipated to stand on three main objectives, the parliamentary secretary said. The first objective is to create a competitive legal framework accommodating the development of a commercial space sector. The second objective is research and innovation through space-generated data. The third objective is job creation and economic growth.

“This will strengthen Malta’s appeal as a hub for foreign investment in this sector, attract foreign direct investment for space satellite and space mining companies, develop tailor-made incentive packages for space start-ups registration in Malta and satellite companies to register their operations in Malta,” Mr Schembri said.

The Space Malta Taskforce will be set up soon and will be responsible for overseeing the development of a Maltese policy framework which enables commercial activities related to outer space, to identify and develop key policy directives, the DOI press statement says. The task force is also expected to complement Malta’s overall goal of pursuing specialisation in its economy.

Mr Schembri said he believes space provides capabilities to solve challenges such as the monitoring of climate change, agriculture, maritime, epidemics and disaster resilience.

“Space can be a strong contributor to Malta’s economic growth. I look forward to working hand in hand with all stakeholders including European institutions, agencies, and international organisations, to seek cooperation with other countries and study the requisite policy and programming synergies and funding,” Mr Schembri added.

Omar Cutajar will chair the Space Malta Taskforce, and its members will be Dr Ing Kenneth Chircop, Matt Prusak, Prof Aaron Casha, Dr Ing Richard Blundell, Prof Kristian Zarb Adami, Dr Jean Marie Mifsud, Charles Pace, Roberto Cassar, and Roberta Albanese Dalli.

Malta’s vision for the National Space Strategy is available on its official website.

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