€100,000 prize for innovative start-ups

Minister for the Economy, European Funds and Lands Silvio Schembri announced the TAKEOFF Seed Award 2022 (TOSFA).

This award, in collaboration with the University of Malta, offers an opportunity for new business owners to carry out their projects. This year, TOSFA will be allocating €100,000 in prize money.

This is the ninth time that an award of this kind will be given, whereby €800,000 have already been distributed and 57 businesses have benefited. This year, the selected applicants will be able to benefit from a grant of between €5,000 and €25,000 each.

Minister Schembri said that a country with a strong economy is one that gives the necessary tools to traders so that they can enhance their business. “Through the TOSFA programme, we are continuing to invest and help entrepreneurs diversify the economy and improve competitiveness. This Ministry is committed to further strengthening financial assistance schemes such as TOSFA and other schemes administered by other entities within the Ministry in order to continue to make our country an international hub for new businesses,” Minister Schembri said.

The TOSFA initiative is a collaboration between the Ministry for Economy, European Funds and Lands and the University of Malta to finance the initial start-up phase of tech projects which are suitable for the Maltese market and to ultimately see that more investment and job opportunities are created.

Minister Schembri also spoke about the fact that the Ministry is working on eliminating excessive bureaucracy. “Through the Malta Business Registry (MBR), we are working to change the bureaucratic process when it comes to company registrations and upkeeping. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing details on this and will provide businesses with information and training on laws and schemes that are of interest to them,” stated Minister Schembri.

Pro-Rector for Research and Knowledge Transfer Professor Simon Fabri said that the TAKEOFF Seed Award initiative supports university research which in turn leads to projects being implemented. The amount of research and development undertaken in such projects may be carried out with the support of similar funds and in collaboration with established organisations.

“Over the years, we have seen an injection of TOSFA funds. In addition to the funds, beneficiaries also benefit from the tools required to work. Thanks to TAKEOFF and the Knowledge Transfer Office, beneficiaries will continue to be given support both during and after the scheme. I look forward to more success stories by applicants, and along with the Ministry for the Economy, European Funds and Lands, we will continue to safeguard the quality of innovative projects offered,” Prof. Fabri said.

For more information on this initiative, one can visit TOSFA 2022 – TAKEOFF.