Malta Enterprise on Malta’s open for business approach
On the second day of the Med-Tech World Summit, CEO Malta Enterprise, Kurt Farrugia delivered a keynote at the MCC in Valletta where he discusses initiatives for startups, and investment in innovation.
A vibrant hub and jurisdiction for doing business
Malta has become a cultural meeting point and a centre for trade and commerce, with a strong and unique ecosystem in place for pharmaceuticals and manufacturing of medical devices, says Kurt Farrugia. Its med tech foundations lie in the pharmaceutical sector, currently boasting around 60 companies – employing 1,700 and in 2022, exported around 400 million pharmaceutical products.
Although these numbers are relatively small, Farrugia highlights that there can be advantages to this – mainly because it allows for us to offer a more personalised approach. Over the decades this industry has grown significantly, attracting more stakeholders, fostering a skilled workforce, and developing a robust infrastructure and a regulatory framework which focuses on safety, efficacy, and innovation.
At the core of this ecosystem is our partner – the Medicines Authority – a regulator globally recognised for its expertise and zealousness in ensuring quality of product for export – while retaining an open for business approach.
Building on these pillars has also paved the way for the medical cannabis sector to evolve.
Incentives and support
Malta Enterprise works to identify companies that can fit into our ecosystem and thrive in our landscape – managing a portfolio of financial and fiscal incentives, as well as a concierge style service to clients. The relationship is an ongoing one, providing constant support along the way as they navigate new growth. This year they provided assistance to 6 well-established companies to increase their capacity and productivity.
Farrugia also mentioned that they are supporting new establishments – such as the investment by Torrent Pharma – one of the largest pharma companies in India – which is building a new state of the art facility in Malta. This aims to be completed by mid 2024.
In the coming weeks the first EU-certified body, which is a global company, will be opening a base in Malta – further enhancing Malta’s offering in the medical devices and med tech space.
Harnessing emerging tech and helping startups thrive
Emphasising the need to further invest in emerging technologies such as BiG Data, and AI, Farrugia confirms that there are already a number of top companies in Malta focused on areas such as robotic surgery, wearables and data analysis of genomes. Over the past year alone we have attracted startups in biotechnology, cancer vaccines, and AI for medical conditions such as Parkinson’s and oncology diagnostics to name a few.
This is part of a plan to nourish an ecosystem where startups can thrive – including a number of tailored financial support initiatives including research and innovation and investment schemes.
“We have always believed startups are the best vehicles to bring innovation into our economy. Startups are flexible, creative, and the driving force in the tech world – and the health sector is no exception to this.”
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