Research Excellence Programme, a new funding programme launched

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In line with the “National Strategy for Research and Innovation 2020”, the Malta Council for Science and Technology is launching a new funding programme called the “Research Excellence Programme“.

The programme aims to spur the growth of new knowledge acquired through experimental evidence following scientific hypothesis. The Research Excellence Programme has been specifically created to meet the need of Maltese public and private entities to concentrate on ‘initial conceptual research’. The programme is intended to fund projects which are still in the early stages of research, but which nonetheless boast a high degree of excellence as well as national and international relevance.

The programme’s main objective is to create a broader Maltese research and innovation system, while developing skills in new multidisciplinary fields in the research sector. The Research Excellence Programme will fund initial research in products or services that could have a significant impact on industry, and ultimately lead to new avenues for economic growth.

This programme is expected to generate knowledge and build on local capacities for future areas, as well as contribute to smart specialization strategies and strategy development. Finally, a programme of this kind will also serve to strengthen existing collaborations.

Applicants are eligible for a maximum grant of € 50,000, which must be used within one year. This grant will be used to fund: the employment of researchers, the purchase or hire of specialized instruments used for particular research, consumables, service providers, travel, scientific information, other relevant research expenditure and indirect costs at a rate of 10% of eligible costs. Public entities will be funded at a rate of 100% of eligible costs while private entities will be funded at a rate of 90% of eligible costs.

The Executive Chairman of the Science and Technology Council, Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, stated that: “These early-stage research grants will provide a strong foundation for further project development.  Through the support provided by the FUSION Programme, we have assisted in the unlocking of the huge potential of Maltese Innovators. This new programme will further provide them with opportunities to reach new heights in their endeavours. ”

The Hon. Clayton Bartolo, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy added that: “To date, we have committed around €10 million in funding, but this is only the beginning of our long journey. As a government, we are determined to strengthen our commitment to research and innovation and intend to continue to encourage and support this area through public policy. We are aiming to transform Malta into a leading global knowledge society and one of the most innovative countries in the Mediterranean.”

For more information on this funding opportunity, eligibility criteria, rules for participation and application form, you can email rep.mcst@gov.mt or visit the link.

The call for applications is open until 18 November 2020.