Research is a crucial element for a competitive economy. It is also one of the driving forces of a modern day university. Investment in research and development is no longer an option for European countries, irrespective of size or of economic traditions. Only such investment can guarantee a sustainable economic stability for these countries and will give European countries a fair chance to become truly competitive notwithstanding the global challenging scenarios being created by emerging economies.
In a world beyond knowledge borders, the University of Malta is expanding its research activities from curiosity-driven studies to result-driven breakthroughs thanks to a cultural shift and generosity of the Maltese people with their contribution to the Research, Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT), according to Rector Professor Juanito Camilleri.
Through RIDT, the University is seeking to generate substantial additional research funding from a variety of sources, including corporates, NGOs and individuals. For this purpose, apart from generating awareness about the excellent research that is being carried out at University, RIDT is introducing and promoting a culture of giving to University research as this is another good cause that deserves philanthropic support.
While in no way absolving the government’s obligation to keep supporting financially University research, as government financing remains crucial and needs to be boosted, government should also consider ways of supporting research funding, particularly via a number of schemes to encourage and boost the flow of private donations.
|University research is another good cause that deserves philanthropic support.|
These suggestions are outlined by RIDT in its Annual Report for 2013, which features a comprehensive overview of its activities during the past year and showcases how after three years of laying the groundwork of community-supported research initiatives, RIDT is contributing towards a knowledge-based Maltese society.
University Rector Professor Juanito Camilleri said: “We received donations from a range of sectors of our society – foundations, corporates, individuals, academics and students. This is indeed a strong indication that the culture change that we required is beginning to happen. We thank all those who have made a contribution, large or small, for believing in our mission and supporting it.”
“We shall continue to rely on the generosity of the Maltese community to expand our research activity from the fundamental, curiosity-driven studies to result-driven and applied research. This is essential for our University to retain a pivotal role in Malta’s economic and social development. Investment in the University of Malta is an investment in the future of our country,” added Prof Camilleri.
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“Our fundraising work at RIDT is driven by Malta’s vision to become a knowledge-based economy, with research and innovation fuelling our economy of tomorrow. Our priorities are compatible with the opportunities and challenges of today and thus the research projects and programmes we fund, and seek to fund, aim at addressing our society’s needs in a variety of domains,” said RIDT’s CEO Wilfred Kenely.
As the Annual Report 2013 notes, in the previous year two NGOs joined hands to raise funds for breast cancer research and donated €55,000 to help fund a Ph.D. level research in this area of study. This prompted others to follow suit and around Christmas 2013, the students and staff of the University decided to raise funds for a number of charities, including cancer research, via RIDT.
Meanwhile, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Malta initiated a research programme financed by the Malta Freeport Terminals Ltd through RIDT. The programme comprises a number of research projects conducted by Master’s degree students in areas which have been identified by a joint working group made up of officials from Malta Freeport Terminals and the Faculty. Similar initiatives have taken off following donation agreements with a number of corporates coming from various sectors, including banking, IT and electronics.
RIDT is dedicated to create a rich, multidimensional research culture in Malta backed by the society it serves. RIDT welcomes donations of all sizes to serve the public good at www.ridt.eu. Those who would like to find out more how they could contribute can contact RIDT’s office on tel. no 23408201 or email [email protected]