‘R&I is pivotal to usher in green and digital transitions in a sustainable and inclusive manner’ – Owen Bonnici

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Minister for Research, Innovation and the Co-Ordination of Post Covid-19 Strategy Owen Bonnici said that R&I will play a pivotal role in providing us with the opportunity to usher in green and digital transitions in a sustainable and inclusive manner. 

“The fact that the EU’s research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe is proposing a “missions approach” can help set broad and ambitious goals in addressing societal challenges,” Minister Bonnici said while stressing that R&I can help us reconcile economic growth and productivity with quality of life and public health whilst ensuring the highest level of environmental protection.

Minister Bonnici was participating in a virtual conference along with the EU Ministers responsible for research at the launch of Horizon Europe organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council.

Minister Bonnici said that Horizon Europe is the EU’s most ambitious R&I framework programme ever and thus the largest transnational programme of its kind worldwide. The launch of this programme marks the start of the European Innovation Council which will help accelerate the scaling up of breakthrough technologies, which could result in game-changing innovation, thanks to direct assistance to the most promising and innovative start-ups and SMEs, leading to a new generation of world-leading companies based in Europe.

Minister Bonnici mentioned that the “missions approach” can be complemented by public and private investments and can also lead to concrete green and innovative projects that produce timely, effective and targeted investments and, therefore, results.

 “We believe that involving stakeholders in policy decisions will prove to be useful in accelerating the transition needed. We can capitalisize on the country’s economic strengths and capabilities and R&I investments can be created towards longterm infrastructural projects that foster the green and digital transformation”, he said.

Minister Bonnici also stated that Malta is interested in those R&I public and private partnerships which focus on the green- and digital-related areas of clean energy, Blue Oceans, innovative SMEs, high-performance computing and key-enabling technologies, stating that by being part of these R&I activities, it will help our country shift towards a more modern, avantgarde, and environmentally friendly economy.

Minister Owen Bonnici emphasized that the Maltese government believes in guidance and assistance towards each member state, regardless of the size, to implement the synergies between the ‘mission’ and ‘smart specialisation’ policies and activities and the projects and investments funded as part of the “recovery and resilience plans.’

“R&I investments need to take place at all levels, and in an inclusive format, so that the transitions leaves no country behind,” he said.

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