The Malta Hub forms part of EIT Urban Mobility – a wider knowledge and innovation community established by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which addresses how people move around in Europe’s towns and cities and proposes solutions for the benefit of both residents and the environment. Malta recently joined EIT Urban Mobility through the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS), which is designed to boost the ability of countries classified as modest or moderate innovators by the European Innovation Scoreboard to enhance the local innovation ecosystem to support innovation in urban mobility by sharing good practice and expertise.
Since its launch earlier this year, the EIT Urban Mobility’s Malta RIS Hub has already made an impact on the island’s urban mobility issues through championing a variety of related activities.
Launched in September 2020 at the Chamber of Commerce by the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects Hon. Ian Borg, the EIT Urban Mobility’s Malta RIS Hub aims to inspire positive change to safeguard accessible and sustainable mobility for all.
Led by the Project Aegle Foundation (PAF), the Hub is a consortium of three partners: PAF, the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology and the Valletta Cultural Agency, through the Valletta Design Cluster.
“The main objective of this Hub is to facilitate networking and collaboration between all the stakeholders, while sharing international best practice and developing opportunities for local players representing industry, academia, research, innovation and cities,” explains PAF Lead Project manager, Camille Bon. “Our vision is to enhance communication and cooperation between Malta’s mobility stakeholders, such as the Government and mobility providers, while also involving citizens and users in the journey towards solutions. Malta has long been car-centric, with growing issues regarding volume of traffic and general quality of life. These challenges cannot be successfully addressed by one entity alone: all of us can play an active role in making the way we travel more sustainable.”
In the months since its launch, the EIT Urban Mobility’s Malta RIS Hub has conducted several activities with these goals in mind. Its first was to build an understanding of Malta’s urban mobility situation, including planned and ongoing related projects, through extensive consultation with stakeholders from private and civil organisations, academia, and the public. Following an educational gap analysis to understand how Malta’s curriculum could be updated to better address the changing needs of the transportation industry, the Hub also hosted an innovation workshop to identify ways to support entrepreneurs and related start-ups in Malta. Meanwhile, an ideation event was organised to collect ideas from entrepreneurs, changemakers, architects and residents to enhance the local commuting experience.
“Next year, the EIT Urban Mobility’s Malta RIS Hub will continue to organise user-centred activities locally to support this complex ecosystem and facilitate more problem-solvers, as they work together towards sustainable modes of transportation in Malta,” concludes Ms Bon. “Through championing innovation in the world of urban mobility, we will provide a platform for those who have the potential not just to improve everyone’s quality of life, but also to decarbonise mobility in Malta and across Europe.”