• The Malta Independent
  • Saturday, 29 October 2011

ICT Gozo Malta launches Skills Register

A new technology has been invented, produced, tested or used while you have read this sentence.

Technologies have taken over the way we communicate, think, travel and learn and have infiltrated our lives in ways that no one would have thought possible 40 years ago, when the Defence Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA) was developing its first data gram network which evolved into what is now known as the internet.

The past four decades have seen information and communication technologies (ICT) evolve to such an extent that infrastructure is no longer at the top of the business agenda. As long as we are provided with the essentials, we 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, a seminar was held last Saturday, aimed at ICT students, graduates, professionals, university and similar ICT educators, businessmen and people with an interest in ICT.

ICTGM project manager David Pace gave an overview of the project’s objectives and explained what has been achieved so far and the plans for building a local platform for international participation in a cluster of excellence in ICT. He emphasised the importance of participation as he explained how only people can help create this vision, ie Maltese and Gozitan residents.

During the seminar, he 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 potential participants that Malta has a huge pool of talent and resources across ICT disciplines and is therefore is well-positioned to build and contribute to Malta becoming an ICT location of excellence.

The seminar was addressed by Synaptic Laboratories Ltd CEO Ron Kelson, who stressed how new technologies can be developed from Gozo. He also gave an overview of a number of large companies that 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 for attracting foreign investment to Malta and referred to a recent government initiative that provides for zero per cent taxation on income generated by patent royalties.

This is designed not only to attract foreign investment, but specifically to advance the ‘smart nation’ image by encouraging the creation and export of intellectual property to and from Malta.

“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”, he said.

Mr Kelson stressed the fact that the government has funded 95 per cent of the ICT Gozo Malta project, which clearly shows the extent to which it is committed to investing in the sector. It was, he said, now up to students and professionals to exploit this 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 Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics Department, ICT Faculty at the University of Malta, explained: “There is a common impression 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 project is 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 this can be seen from 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 ICTGM 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 and all those wishing to be kept informed of progress are encouraged to register on the ICTGM web portal now.

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

More details about the project are available from David Pace on 7963 0221 or by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The ICTGM office is located in the Gozo Business Chamber building and is open from 9am to 1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays or by appointment. For website & ICT skills register www.ictgozomalta.eu

GBC1 SLL-Logo_150  A Collaborative Project co founded by
PaceIT & 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