Malta’s National Research and Innovation Strategy 2020 sets out Malta’s R&I strategy for the period 2014-2020. Recognising the progress made over the last years and acknowledging that there is still a way to go in achieving the objectives set out in the 2007-2010 R&I Strategic Plan, the ultimate goal of this Strategy remained that of 'embedding R&I at the heart of the Maltese economy, to spur knowledge-driven and value-added growth and to sustain improvements in the quality of life'.
Embedded in this Strategy is also Malta’s Smart Specialisation Strategy. This strategy targets the establishment of a knowledge-based economy by prioritising its achievement in a number of thematic areas. It is a very innovation-oriented approach which does not exclude the involvement of research activities however. In addition, the prioritisation of long-term investments in a stronger knowledge base in identified thematic areas serves to embed stronger foundations over the longer term, thus consolidating the knowledge base of these thematic areas:
- High Value Added Manufacturing
- Maritime Services
- Tourism Product Development
- Health with a focus on e-health and Healthy Living and Active Ageing
- Aviation and Aerospace
- Resource-efficient buildings
- ICT as an enabler
Malta is currently working on updating both Strategies for the post-2020 period.
Transport research is addressed in these multidisciplinary areas and also in the bottom-up research programmes and policy priorities established by the national authorities responsible for transport. The Integrated Transport Strategy Directorate at Transport Malta has developed a National Transport Strategy and Transport Master Plan covering all relevant transport modes (land, public transport, sea and air) for the short, medium and long term for Malta. Key documents are:
The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) is responsible for research policy, promoting scientific research, and managing local research funding programme. The Council is the national contact point for Horizon 2020.
Transport Malta is responsible for developing integrated transport policies, developing an efficient transport system for the islands of Malta, and providing an effective regulatory framework for land transport. Back in 2010, this authority took over from the Malta Maritime Authority, the Malta Transport Authority and the Department of Civil Aviation, to bring maritime, land, public and maritime transport under one public body. Transport Malta is financially independent of the Government. Current policies in public transport, maritime transport and aviation are provided by the relevant previous authorities.
Malta Enterprise is responsible for promoting foreign investment and industrial development in Malta, managing various funding schemes. It was entrusted by the Managing Authority for Structural Funds for administering six European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Grant Schemes.
Funding for transport research is provided by organisations including:
- Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST)
- Ministry for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy
- Ministry for European Affairs and Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto
Current thematic programmes which are funding research on transport related topics include:
- FUSION (2014-2020) - supports Research and Innovation with the ultimate goal of promoting and supporting local research and innovation as well as providing the necessary handholding in order to enable researchers and technologists to turn their innovative ideas into a market ready reality.
- Cross Border Cooperation Programme Italia-Malta 2014-2020