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New mobile APPs developed by startups for MEPA and Heritage Malta

Publication Date: May 11, 2015
In line with government’s policy to stimulate innovation and instill an entrepreneurial mindset among the young, the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) has recently awarded two grants of €15,000 to two startups that won the Start-APP €15K challenge. 

The announcement was made at a press conference on 11th May 2015 at Tarxien Temples by MITA’s Head of Strategy and Business Department Mr. Emanuel Darmanin in the presence of Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth Hon. José Herrera.

Start-APP €15K was a competition targeting startups which had to propose solutions for the resolution of ‘pain points’ in the area of development planning and cultural heritage using mobile app technology in combination with public data made available specifically for the project by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) and Heritage Malta. 

During the Press Conference the winning startups, OTUS for the cultural heritage solution, and LLUMI for the development planning solution, provided an overview of the mobile application they are developing and also outlined a number of features the mobile applications will have. 

The cultural heritage solution seeks to enhance the visual and cultural experience of visitors of the Tarxien Temples through what technology known as ‘augmented reality’, multi-linguality and itinerary planning. 

The development related application seeks to demonstrate the empowering nature of smart phones for increased citizen participation in planning decisions. Moreover the app will have a feature whereby illegal development can be reported to the authorities.

In his address, Mr. Darmanin said that “innovation is the next leap forward to uncharted waters. It is also about what could be done better.  At the MITA Innovation hub, we are taking new approaches, making incremental steps forward as well as partnering with key stakeholders in order to make old ideas new again and yield greater benefits to society at large while giving opportunities to students and new entrepreneurs”.   

Commenting on the outcome of Start-App15K, Hon. Jose Herrera stated: “I am impressed by the overwhelming response to this call and the quality of work being delivered to date. This proves our vision of the important role that public administration has in stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship. These startups will not only be re-using public data to create a mobile app, but they will also be using public administration processes as a test bed for their innovative solutions.”