​​€100,000 in TAKEOFF Seed Fund Awards aimed at startups and researchers to develop their ideas

‘It is in such times of great adversity that the need for revolutionary entrepreneurship and research becomes imperative for any country’ - Minister Silvio Schembri

Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri launched the TAKEOFF Seed Fund Awards aimed at researchers and entrepreneurs to put forward their innovative ideas and develop them further through the financial assistance provided by this fund.

For this fund, a total budget of €100,000 is being allocated and through a competitive call researchers and entrepreneurs can benefit from a maximum of €25,000 to develop further their ideas.

Minister Schembri said that the relevance of both researchers and entrepreneurs has never been as significant as these past weeks, when the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our way of life and everything which we considered as normal.

‘It is in such times of great adversity that the need for revolutionary entrepreneurship and research becomes imperative for a country’s survival or otherwise. Beyond the current COVID-19 situation, which in itself is a fast-paced and time-sensitive challenge, we can proudly state that as a government we have, since the very beginning anticipated the need for innovation, which we consider as the ultimate tool for our country’s present and future wellbeing, in all scenarios. It must be said that ‘Starting and growing ideas’ has been our unconscious mantra through the creation and implementation of all our policies and initiatives, including the TAKEOFF Seed Fund Award, which ultimately seek to nurture the very idea of providing support not only for ground-breaking research but also to assist start-ups in materialising and commercialising their ideas’, said Minister Schembri

University of Malta Rector Prof. Alfred J. Vella stated that “All ventures, whether they stem from university-generated research or are the basis of a newly formed start-up, require support in order to kickstart their development and obtain market validation. Research grants or personal funding may take them quite a long way however, in many cases, this is not enough. Over the past seven years, we have seen the positive impact the injection of TOSFA funds has had on both seed fund and proof of concept beneficiaries.The support provided through the scheme is not simply financial as beneficiaries also receive continuous guidance through TAKEOFF and the Knowledge Transfer Office both during and after the scheme’s timeframe. We look forward to seeing what proposals this year’s cycle will bring.’

The seed fund is a joint initiative between the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses (MEIB) and the University of Malta supported by the University’s Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO), TAKEOFF Business Incubator and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Business Incubation (CEBI).

Entrepreneurs and start-ups may apply for Seed Funds to assist them in taking a step closer to their first customer or investment. Researchers working on innovations developed through University R&D shall be eligible for proof of concept funds to assist in taking their technology closer to commercialisation.

Workshops to explain the application process and provide the skills and tools necessary to create a competitive proposal will be held on the 11 May at 14:00. These workshops are mandatory for all interested applicants.  The final application form will only be accepted if applicants or members of their team register and attend the respective TOSFA workshop. Should applicants be unable to attend alternative meetings must be held directly with the Knowledge Transfer Office  for Proof of Concept or TAKEOFF for Seed Funds.

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