Malta as an Innovation Hub

Blockchain, Fintech, Artificial Intelligence, National Space Strategy, Internet of Things – these are some of the current popular terms within the local Maltese community given Malta has been pushing itself to be the innovation hub of today for the economy of tomorrow. Malta has positioned itself on the map by becoming the first country to adopt regulation in the field of blockchain and crypto currencies. However, its efforts have not stopped there.

The Malta Financial Services Authority has recently issued its strategic plan – Vision 2021 – and has put FinTech at the core of its strategy with the use of RegTech & SupTech for its own needs. It is also fostering an Innovation and FinTech Hub together with a Regulatory sandbox to encourage the development and testing of new innovative technologies and business models which can be used in the field of financial services without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of engaging in the specific activity.

FinTech is helping traditional financial services products bringing them up to speed with today’s technological innovation, making them more appealing to the younger and possibly even older generations, seeking a breath of fresh air in how they conduct their financial affairs not only at a local level but on a global scale.

Just this year the Government of Malta has launched its AI and National Space Strategy. Malta is looking at the future and welcoming AI to potentially take its economy to another level. The AI strategy aims to identify opportunities to boost the country’s digital economy whilst educating the public at large.

This will help to start attracting the necessary know-how and expertise internationally and foster local enthusiasm to ensure that the local workforce is well positioned to start filling the talent gap which will eventually form. If we want to compete for our space in these industries, the point of departure should be the degree of our capability to generate and attract this kind of talent.

The human resources aspect will always remain an important challenge which Malta has to overcome, due to its geographical size. These innovative areas will be inevitably targeting skills for which other existing sectors in Malta are already competing for, namely developers, compliance, regulatory and big data engineers.

Needless saying that besides generating new talent and attracting foreign one, we should strive in retaining our best talent and indirectly target locals who made it successfully offshore but whose talent and expertise can further help to possibly strengthen Malta’s growth within these areas.

While it is critical to maintain a diversified economy, innovation is key in helping Malta to continue leading the way within the digital world and continue to attract local and international investment for an increased prosperity.

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