One of the main organisers of the biggest science event in Malta has appealed to the newly-minted Innovation Minister Owen Bonnici for more investment and incentives for researchers in Malta.
“I’d love to see Government invest a decent proportion of its budget towards research,” Edward Duca told Lovin Malta. “Malta currently invests around 0.6% of its expenditure in research (in 2018), which needs to increase to two to three per cent. Millions more should be invested in competitive funding.”
“Malta has a lot of potential,” he continued. “There are islands as small as the Faroe Islands that have nurtured Nobel prize laureates, the biggest achievement researchers can achieve… I really believe that Malta can reach this as well.”
As the founder of Science in the City, Duca is well aware of the challenges Maltese researchers and innovators face on the island – and he believes the government needs to begin addressing these shortcomings.
“We need more foreign direct investment that focuses on research and innovation (some great companies have recently been attracted) as well as incentives for companies to employ more people with doctorates (PhDs),” he said.
“We also need to be involving all stakeholders and citizens throughout the whole research process,” he continued. “There’s a lot that Malta can do and it will make our economy and society stronger. Coherence and a long-term perspective are essential to build our research possibilities.”
Duca appeared on an episode of Lovin Daily where he discussed Science in the City going online this year as well as these research challenges.
Duca emphasised the importance of giving researchers the agency and the support to truly get them in a position to give their best.
“I want to see a Research and Innovation (R&I) strategy that brings everyone together, in a way that makes them feel like they own it,” he ended. “One is already being developed by MCST but we need to make sure that it is implemented.”
“COVID-19 has shown how important it is to invest in research. Malta can contribute – and Malta should.”