Skip to content

4th July 2024

Exploring Malta’s innovation potential: A boost for MedTech?

Recent insights from Moody’s have brought Malta’s economic landscape into sharp focus, revealing that the island’s economy stands on solid ground. The latest report highlights that Malta’s economic performance is particularly impressive compared to other countries in the euro area, showcasing strong growth and stability.

While this economic resilience is undoubtedly good news, it prompts an important question: How does Malta fare in terms of innovation? Specifically, what does the combination of economic stability and innovation potential mean for the MedTech industry on this historic Mediterranean jewel?

Malta’s firm economic standing

Moody’s, a renowned global credit rating agency, provides credit ratings, research, and risk analysis that contribute to transparent and integrated financial markets. Their recent report on Malta from late last May highlights several key economic indicators and trends that are crucial for stakeholders and investors alike.

Key highlights include:

  • Strong GDP Growth: Malta’s GDP grew by 5.6% in 2023, following an 8.1% increase in 2022. This far surpasses the euro area’s average growth of 0.4% and 3.4% for those years. Moody’s expects continued robust GDP growth of 4.5% in 2024 and 3.7% in 2025, driven by real wage growth and a solid tourism sector.
  • Stable Economic Outlook: Despite Malta’s small size, which can limit institutional capacity, Moody’s notes a stable outlook due to the country’s wealthy and rapidly growing economy, solid debt affordability, and moderate exposure to financial risks.
  • Institutional Reforms: Malta faces some institutional challenges, but ongoing reforms aimed at strengthening the regulatory framework are viewed positively. These efforts are expected to bolster Malta’s financial competitiveness and align it more closely with A1-rated peers.

The big innovation question

The Moody’s report not only acknowledges Malta’s current economic successes but also highlights the island’s potential for future investment and innovation. However, despite these positive economic indicators, the question remains: Is Malta maximising its innovation potential, including in the Medical Technology and Healthcare sectors?

According to the European Innovation Scoreboard, as detailed by Community Officer Diana Miceli (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) in the Times of Malta last May, Malta’s innovation performance has been improving faster than the EU average in recent years. Despite this progress, Malta is still classified as a “moderate innovator,” with performance at 85.8% of the EU average. 

This indicates that while Malta shows promise, it has not yet fully realised its potential in entrepreneurship and the development of new technologies, including medical technologies.

Challenges and opportunities in Malta

The European Innovation Scoreboard helps identify both strengths and weaknesses in Malta’s innovation ecosystem. Some key weaknesses include insufficient support for research and development from both the government and private sector, and a lack of education on the importance of innovation and its benefits for the economy and society.

Addressing these weaknesses is crucial, especially in the face of global challenges like climate change and geopolitical instability. New technologies offer the potential for radical economic and societal transformations, and this is particularly true for medical technologies that can significantly improve patient care locally and globally.

The role of MedTech

Reversing these trends and maintaining Malta’s improvement in innovation requires genuine commitment from all stakeholders, including organisations like the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. For the MedTech community, there are several opportunities to accelerate innovation in Malta.

Successful innovation in MedTech often requires support from various institutions, such as the government and universities. For instance, innovative projects like DIGICLAP—a smart wearable device for upper limb habilitation—showcase the potential for groundbreaking medical technology to emerge from Malta.

A star example: DigiClap

DIGICLAP, developed with financial support from the Malta Council for Science and Technology, is a smart wearable device designed for children undergoing occupational therapy. It transforms traditional habilitation exercises into an immersive, gamified experience using Augmented Reality (AR).

The project, led by Prof. Inġ. Philip Farrugia and his team at the University of Malta, exemplifies the type of innovation that can thrive in Malta with the right support and investment.

The future of MedTech is being discussed in Malta

To further accelerate innovation in Malta, MedTech World invites you to participate in discussions that will shape the future of healthcare locally and globally during MedTech Malta, from November 6th to 8th within the historic ambience of Valletta. 

Like years before, this event provides its guests a unique opportunity to connect with leading Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), engage in high-level networking sessions, and explore funding solutions for the numerous challenges in healthcare today.

The MedTech Malta event, hosted at the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC) with Malta’s stunning landscape as a backdrop, promises to be a catalyst for innovation and progress. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a transformative journey.

Join us in November to contribute to and benefit from groundbreaking discussions and collaborations that will drive the future of healthcare in Malta and beyond. Stay tuned for the latest news on the event, out soon!

you might also like

view all