/Memorandum of Understanding: Delivering innovation which supports Malta’s Digital Strategy (via Qpute.com)
Memorandum of Understanding: Delivering innovation which supports Malta’s Digital Strategy

Memorandum of Understanding: Delivering innovation which supports Malta’s Digital Strategy (via Qpute.com)


“Through
this MOU we are moving towards the tangibility of our vision, the reaching out
to the community and the use of technological advancements to improve the daily
lives and work of our citizens” – Parliamentary Secretary for Financial
Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri

The
Government of Malta and Vodafone Malta signed a Memorandum of Understanding
aimed at extending further discussions and the execution of initiatives to
support Malta’s Digital Strategy.  The MOU was signed by Parliamentary
Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio
Schembri together with Vodafone Malta CEO Sonja Hernandez, presided over by
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Serpil Timuray for Vodafone Europe.

The scope of
the MOU is to increase awareness of disruptive technologies (blockchain, the
Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Big Data, Quantum
computing), implement disruptive technologies, pilot projects and enhance
digital literacy amongst the Maltese population.

Vodafone
will be assisting with the transfer of international expertise and knowhow
whilst providing internship opportunities for students and start-ups. It will
also collaborate with the Government and other educational institutions to
increase the use of digital technologies and also assist with the
implementation of government priorities which can be facilitated through such
disruptive technologies.

On the other
hand, the Government will assist with the promotion of training programmes
among public sector employees, in addition to upgrading educational content to
reflect more current technologies. It will assist with carrying out digital
promotional activities, as well as with the organisation of awareness campaigns
and training programmes for the benefit of citizens and the business community.
It will also help identify business areas and use cases within the Government
where emerging technologies may be piloted.

During his
address, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that Malta has made landmark
decisions on innovation. Our country is a major hub for gaming companies thanks
to decisions taken to attract and sustain them over many years. The Prime
Minister emphasised that Malta provides a blueprint in the blockchain area as
we took decisions when others hesitated. Now, artificial intelligence is the
next step.

There are
opportunities to use these technologies in our daily life. Prime Minister
Muscat mentioned the use of blockchain in the issuing of educational
certificates and, soon, in rent contracts, as well as the use of artificial
intelligence in our health care system.

Prime
Minister Joseph Muscat concluded by saying that this MOU is not just about
pilot projects, but about increasing awareness on disruptive technologies which
will enhance the digital literacy of the Maltese population.

Parliamentary
Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio
Schembri said that through this MOU we are moving towards the tangibility of
our vision, the reaching out to the community and the use of technological advancements
to improve the daily lives and work of our citizens. As part of the
Government’s efforts to deliver its vision as well as the outer reach of
technology, the MOU will serve as a solid foundation to identify projects
related to Internet of Things.

“This MOU
signals the start of the implementation of pilot projects based on this
technology. The first project is for smart parking in Luqa, which seeks to
improve energy efficiency in transport, improve travel awareness among road
users as well as reduce journey times. The installation of sensors in parking
base/spaces connected to an app will be accessible for everyone through their
phones.”

The
community will have access to information in real time as to where there are
parking spaces available without any additional payments or expenses to the
end-consumer. This information will invariably lead to a substantial reduction
in traffic congestion and consequently air pollution, as well as a decrease in
time wastage and fuel costs. This project will first be implemented in Luqa
through a close collaboration with the local council and will eventually be
extended to other localities, explained Parliamentary Secretary Schembri.

Vodafone
Europe Cluster CEO Serpil Timuray said that the entrepreneurial sense in Malta
goes beyond its borders. Ms Timuray said that she wants Malta to be a test bed
for innovation with local software developers testing their ideas which can be
exported outside Malta. She concluded by projecting that Malta and Vodafone
Malta will be a hub for talent.

Vodafone
Malta CEO Sonia Hernandez said that the MOU will help Vodafone and the
Government jointly accelerate the execution of Vodafone’s purpose of
“connecting Malta for a better future”, as well as that of the National Digital
Strategy of Malta. “This MOU therefore cements our commitment towards driving
innovation in Malta by leveraging on our international expertise and resources,
and stands testament to our commitment to keep playing a strategic role in
being part of Malta’s national digital and innovation strategy”, said
Hernandez.




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