News: Gozo may have it's own Silicon Valley


ictgm seminar7x750 2011 10 22Just the moment you start reading this article, a new technology has been invented, produced, tested or used. Technologies took over the way we communicate, think, travel or learn and it has infiltrated  human lives in a manner that no one would have thought of 40 years ago when the Defense Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA) was developing its first data gram network which later evolved into what is known today as the internet.

The past four decades have led information and communication technologies (ICT) to evolve to such an extent that infrastructure is no longer on top of the business agenda. As long as one is provided with the essentials one can really run multinational companies from anywhere. Today, we are living in extremely exciting times and this is what essentially made the ICT Gozo Malta (ICTGM) project team believe that ICT is an ideal opportunity for Gozo and its economy.

As part of the number of initiatives to explain the scope behind the ICT Gozo Malta project, on Saturday, 22nd October 2011 a seminar was held at the Calypso Hotel in Marsalforn, Gozo. This seminar was well attended and it mainly targeted ICT students, graduates, professionals, university and similar ICT educators businessmen and people with an interest in ICT. 

Mr. David Pace, the ICTGM project manager, gave an overview of the ICTGM project objectives. He explained what has been achieved so far and plans for building up a local platform for International participation in a Cluster of Excellence in ICT.   Mr. Pace strongly emphasized the importance of participation as he explained how only people can help create this vision, i.e. Maltese and Gozitan residents.  During the seminar, Mr. Pace also launched the Malta ICT Skills register and encouraged ICT professionals graduates and students to register their ICT skills through the ICTGM portal to demonstrate, to both local and International potential participants, that Malta has a huge pool of talent and resources across ICT disciplines, and therefore is well positioned to build and contribute to Malta becoming an ICT location of excellence.

The seminar was also addressed by Mr. Ron Kelson, CEO of Synaptic Laboratories Ltd. Mr. Kelson emphasized the new technologies that can be developed from Gozo.  He also gave an overview of a number of large companies who are already showing direct interest in the project and technology development map. Mr. Kelson said that the Government of Malta is creating the right environment to attract foreign investment to Malta.  He made a reference to a recent initiative provided by the Government which provides for 0% taxation on income generated by patent royalties.  This is designed to not only attract foreign investment, but specifically to advance the Smart Nation image through encouraging the creation and export of intellectual property in and from Malta.

ictgm seminar5b 750 2011 10 22Mr. Kelson continued by saying to the ICT audience that  “if the government tells us that the ICT sector is an important sector for the local economy, both now and for the future, then you need no one else to tell you that”.  Mr. Kelson emphasized that the Government of Malta have funded 95% of the ICT Gozo Malta project, which clearly shows how much the government is committed to invest in this sector.  It is up to students and professionals to now exploit this open opportunity to self help towards a stronger future for the local ICT industry and similarly their own future employment prospects,in Gozo and Malta.

Dr Owen Casha, Lecturer and Researcher at the Department of Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics, Faculty of ICT at the University of Malta who also attended the event  said

A common impression is that ICT only involves the development of software systems, but in reality, this is only one of many aspects.  In fact, ICT also deals with the development of hardware platforms on which software systems can then be implemented in the real world.  The ICT Gozo Malta project is giving prominence to this holistic view so characteristic of ICT, including both hardware and software considerations. It brings together a multitude of disciplines and expertise in order to develop a more secure, robust and reliable ICT infrastructure.
The ICT Gozo Malta project is definitely a very important milestone for a forward-looking knowledge based economy.  This is  a great opportunity for our students, in particular following degrees in Microelectronics and Embedded Systems.  The importance of such field can definitely be noted by the recent investments by a number of companies starting their own R&D activities in the implementation of both integrated circuitry and embedded systems. 

The ICT GM project is now working on its funding proposal for Phase 2 which will include the development of specific exciting projects involving local companies, ICT professionals and students from MCAST and the University of Malta.   There is already strong interest and support.  All interested parties, or those simply wishing to be kept informed of progress, are encouraged to register on the ICT GM webportal now.

Participants who attended the seminar had the opportunity to ask questions and network. The seminar had the participation and support of the Ministry for Gozo through the Eco-Gozo program (www.eco-gozo.com),  Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), The Gozo Business Chamber, Synaptic Laboratories, Bank of Valletta, and the ICT Students Association (ICSA) .

WHY SHOULD ICT STUDENTS GRADUATES AND PROFESSIONALS REGISTER? 

Because ICT Gozo Malta is showcasing local talent and capability available to support and participate in local ICT Projects with global potential.  The skills register will clearly establish to international collaborators and funders that Malta offers the skills and talent necessary for them to consider participating in Malta led Research & Development Projects.

PRESS ARTICLE - 27 Oct 2011

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Promoting Participation

ICT Gozo Malta is actively promoting participation in projects to Government Agencies as the relevant Authority and potential end users.  Also to companies such as in the telecommunications and security industries that can assist with test bedding, product development, early adoption and marketing.
GBC1 SLL-Logo_150  A Collaborative Project co founded by
The Gozo Business Chamber and
Synaptic Laboratories Ltd

Eco Gozo Logo

Eco-Gozo – a Better Gozo Action Plan 2010 – 2012
Project part-financed by the Government of Malta - Ministry for Gozo
www.eco-gozo.com

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