The Malta brew – the ingredients for success in tech

Last Updated on Thursday, 9 May, 2024 at 12:19 pm by Andre Camilleri

Calvin Cassar is the co-founder and managing director of MelaTech Ltd (, a company focused on connecting the tech community locally. Through initiatives such as conferences and events, the company looks into establishing links within the local tech community

Malta and tech

Malta has a developing tech industry and we are setting out the right ingredients for a good brew. Across all areas – from development, to infrastructure through cybersecurity and AI, we have individuals and companies who are not only driving forward platforms and initiatives, but who are also innovating and coming up with disruptive solutions.

The ingredients

From a policy point of view, we have work being undertaken to ensure that appropriate regulation and oversight are in place. In many instances we have been at the forefront in the this, leading the way across the European landscape in i-gaming, blockchain, crypto regulation and related areas, with larger jurisdictions scrambling to catch up with the work undertaken here. In addition, through entities like Gaming Malta, Finance Malta and, we also have work being carried out to promote Malta as a jurisdiction, with its currently enticing propositions. To support this, we have established good infrastructure and stability in connectivity, through strong data channels with main land Europe and worldwide. This has been a traditional strength for Malta, as we are capable of thinking and implementing in an agile way, which larger countries have been traditionally unable to do.

Resourcing in technology has improved but remains a challenge. Although subject to criticism in some areas, an open policy allowing talent to take on residence and employment in Malta has allowed companies to access talent from the international pool. An ability to have local legislation complement and support remote working has also allowed companies to operate with a greater degree of flexibility. In the recent past, tech giants have set up office in countries with a larger talent pool and lower salary costs, such as in Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Greece, however the salary advantage in these countries has decreased over time, and with high demand, and an equally restricted talent pool, the advantages offered in these countries has diminished. Malta compares favourably to these other European countries, but we still need to undertake work to attract potential big players in tech.

A missing ingredient in bringing about technology to the forefront, however, remains to be developed. As in most other economic areas, technology in Malta is characterised by an element of fragmentation and a large number of small or medium-sized entities that are operating in a largely independent way of each other. It would be fair to say that there is a “gaming community” (and sub-communities of affiliates, etc.) in Malta, as well as a “financial services community” (and sub-communities in say fintech or insurance) and although both of these domains are driven by tech, there is no underlying “tech community” in place, coming together to speak about tools, challenges and solutions from a purely tech point of view.

This community building is important, as it is what helps gel economic activity together. With spread and lack of cohesion, persons come to the island (or work remotely), contribute but then leave without long-lasting impact. The community element serves as a medium to allow for collaboration, competition and growth, as well as continuity following change. What made Silicon Valley happen? It was not just the brainchild of a few innovative persons coming together, but it was in having them sharing the same space, at the same time and coming together to collaborate, and in some cases, compete. Malta needs to work to set this space to build this community in tech.

Perfecting the brew

What are the ingredients that will keep Malta successful in tech? Maintaining the agility in policy-making and picking up opportunities in central areas, such as AI regulation, and fintech readiness, but also driving and leading in niche areas, as we did in the past say for captive insurance. Maintaining flexibility in hiring, work arrangements and taxation will help attract talent. Developing the community aspect will help set communication, competition and retention.

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