Leading by Innovation
Written by Dayna Camilleri Clarke
What if there was a place where you could go and test your brilliant idea without having to invest thousands on technology in the process? Well, great news there is, and it’s called “My Lab Idea” at the MITA Emerging Technologies Lab. Dayna Camilleri Clarke speaks to Andrea Mallia, Senior Executive from MITA’s Digital Outreach team, and prospective graduate Nicholas Vella Magri Demajo to find out more about this exciting opportunity.
“The Government agency MITA works in various ways with students studying at different educational levels. The Digital Outreach team within MITA, works closely with students mainly through the Student Placement Programme and the Emerging Technologies Lab” explains Andrea. “We strongly felt there was a gap in the local market to create a space such as a Lab where students could come and test their ideas. We want to support technologies of the future, and inspire the minds behind them too”.
The MITA Emerging Technologies Lab has been in operation since October 2018 to provide a space for MITA employees, Public Sector employees as well as students to experience, experiment and learn about various emerging technologies. Equipment such as 3D printer, 3D scanner, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality headsets, and microcontrollers can all be found at the Lab in Blata l-Bajda. One such student to benefit from the Lab and ongoing support from MITA is Nicholas Vella Magri Demajo.
“The Lab and the support of the MITA was integral to my dissertation topic, in fact, a trip to the Lab inspired me to go ahead with my idea. I am also really grateful for the support from the University of Malta. I was able to rapid prototype my project by using the 3D printers at the Lab. As a result, I am certain this experience has served as a footbed for the next steps of my career” explained Nicholas, a final year student studying Product Design at the University of Malta. What’s more, when asked how COVID-19 impacted working, Nicholas stated the Lab was operating on a reduced capacity with utmost hygiene and safety protocols in place. He was able to continue his project with minimal disruption. As a result of the immense success of his project, Nicholas was invited to participate in a seminar to present his findings on the 14th of December to MITA employees and the Public Sector employees. The seminar is going to address the four phases that he used for the thesis, which are the research and brainstorming phase, the concept design phase, the 3D modelling phase and the rapid prototyping phase. –
Over the two years from the launch, more than 100 sessions were held at the Lab. These include hands-on sessions, seminars, mini-courses as well as online sessions. The number of participants for these sessions was over 1600.
It certainly seems MITA are cultivating Malta’s next talent in the field of emerging technologies and inspiring many future career pathways. Students who are interested in doing their dissertation related to emerging technologies can contact the Emerging Technologies Lab. Through the Lab, students can use the available equipment and required consumables both for free, and they can make use of the expertise and assistance of the team managing the Lab. The Lab is an ample creative working space where students can focus and learn at no extra cost.
The Digital Outreach team within MITA, works closely with students mainly through the Student Placement Programme and the Emerging Technologies Lab