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MITA Innovation Hub at SmartCity Malta launched

Publication Date: May 15, 2014
 


Blata l-Bajda, Malta [15/05/2014] Earlier today the Prime Minister Hon. Dr Joseph Muscat inaugurated MITA’s brand new premises at SmartCity Malta. As had been announced by Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, Hon. Dr Chris Cardona in May last year, the premises will house the national IT agency’s Innovation Hub. This is an Internet-enabled office environment which students, web innovators, software developers and start-ups can use to discuss concepts, develop prototypes, and conduct proof-of-concept projects supported by mentors from the industry, as well as by software tools and other resources made available by world players from the ICT industry.
 
Present at the inauguration, representatives of HP, IBM and Microsoft committed their support through software, tuition, cloud services, and entrepreneurship programmes for clients and users of the MITA Innovation Hub. Discussions are underway for similar contributions by other technology providers, among them SAP and Oracle, also present for the launch. 
 
The MITA Innovation Hub will serve as a venue where future web entrepreneurs and innovators will have a number of software and cloud technologies, and support programmes, to choose from for their projects. These include HP’s CloudSystem and HP LIFE Centre eLearning for Entrepreneurs, Microsoft’s Windows Azure and BizSpark Program, and IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program comprising software, learning material, and access to technical and business mentorship.  
 
The Innovation Hub plans to collaborate with other existing start-up initiatives such as the University of Malta’s Centre for Entrepreneurship & Business Incubation (CEBI) and their recently launched TAKEOFF incubator, the Microsoft Innovation Centre at SkyParks Business Centre, PwC’s 1Million Euro Startup Fund initiative and the Malta College of Arts Science and Technology (MCAST) that have recently been assigned a number of units at the Kordin Business Incubation Centre managed by Malta Enterprise. 
 
The MITA Innovation Hub has already launched two innovation competitions: the development of a mobile app for the recently inaugurated Park Majjistral, and the MITA Student Start-Up Award organised in conjunction with TAKEOFF and CEBI.  
 
Prior to the launch, teams from the Park Majjistral App Challenge organised by MITA discussed their concepts with Mr Edward Portelli, manager and start-up mentor of the Microsoft Innovation Centre.  
 
MITA’s Executive Chairman Tony Sultana augured that the MITA Innovation Hub should become the gelling factor that will synergise all existing incubator and start-up initiatives, adding that, “Our strengths and experience in e-Government, as well as our excellent business relationship with the entire public sector, are in many ways a great opportunity for innovators.” 
 
Concluding his inaugural speech, Dr Joseph Muscat commented: “These types of synergies are an excellent way to help our young harness the power of the digital revolution creating new opportunities for the re-invention of new jobs and instilling a digital and entrepreneurial mindset in everything we do.” 
 
For more information about the MITA Innovation Hub, visit www.mitainnovationhub.gov.mt.​
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