One Giant Leap? Malta Outlines Vision For National Space Strategy
Sadly, though, space exploration is not on the cards
Malta will be launching its very own National Space Strategy, Parliamentary Secretary for the Digital Economy Silvio Schembri has announced.
While trips to the moon may spring to mind, the strategy actually has nothing to do with space exploration, but rather seeks to create opportunities out of the commercialisation in space.
In a meeting held at the AFM Barracks in Pembroke, Schembri outlined the government's vision for the strategy and the task force that would head it.
Malta in itself already has several advantages in the field including its location, access to the EU market and human capital.
Schembri added that the strategy follows the government's progressive stance in the technological field following strides made in both blockchain and AI.
There are three primary objectives to the strategy
The first involves the creation of a competitive legal regime for the commercial space industry, which looks to strengthen and promote foreign direct investment by also providing space satellites and space mining companies with tailor-made incentives to register in Malta.
As a practical example, Luxembourg has already emerged as a pioneer in the field after introducing legislation for the industry that is proving to be successful.
On an EU level, space programmes ensure high quality, up-to-date and secure space related data, increasing growth and job creation in the block. The strategy will also place research and innovation as a primary objective.
The industry is predicted to generate $2.7 trillion worldwide in the next 30 years.
“The idea of space should not be as abstract as people think,” Schembri said as he emphasised how the data gathered from space can truly affect people’s daily lives.
For example, such data not only improves weather applications and broadband communications, but also can assist in more precise farming, disaster avoidance, traffic management and energy generation.
Job creation and economic growth are also crucial to the strategy, with the promotion of STEM subjects to create opportunities a key focus.
Headed by Chairman Omar Cutajar, the task-force will consult with both international and local stakeholders to draft the strategy, policy, and a framework to develop the commercial space sector.
The announcement also saw the ceremonial launch of a 1.5m, 3kg CanSat rocket.
The CanSat competition sees students work together to gather data from a satellite-like devices to calculate the altitude and other atmospheric indicators according to their own unique missions.
More information on the strategy can be found on maltaspace.com