The ICT Gozo Malta Project now officially launched in Gozo
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The ICT Gozo Malta Project, (ICTGM) which will be carried out through the collaboration of Synaptic Laboratories (Synaptic), a foreign ICT company based in Gozo, with the Gozo Business Chamber (GBC), was launched in Gozo earlier today. This project will be benefitting from the allocation of €50,000 through the Ministry for Gozo’s eco-Gozo scheme for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s).
This project aims to create an online portal and forum to encourage, attract and facilitate bi-directional international ICT and Research & Development collaboration, with a focus on Cyber Security and Internet. It has the potential of spawning clusters of excellence with direct and indirect economic benefits and activity in Malta and Gozo. This would be instrumental in tapping the island of Gozo’s potential in the development of this important economic sector especially with regards to the creation of value added job opportunites that strengthen economic growth both on regional as well as on national levels.
The ICT Gozo Malta Project was launched during an activity held in one of the island’s hotels. Those who attended included the Minister for Gozo, Giovanna Debono, Jason Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Enterprise and Lands together with Frederick Azzopardi, Parliamentary Assistant within the Ministry for Gozo as well as senior representatives of Government Agencies and MCAST who form a steering committee that was established in relation with this project in order to also serve as an advisory body.
In her address, the Minister for Gozo explained how this project brings out priority areas connected with the eco-Gozo vision apart from those related to environmental issues. She stressed that the priority areas treated within the measures of the eco-Gozo Action plan 2010-2012 also include those related with the economy, society and culture besides those of the environment, the implementation of which will lead to the attainment of sustainable development for the island of Gozo.
The Minister continued by saying “that the main objectives of this project coincide with some of the objectives of the eco-Gozo action plan amongst which that related with the establishment of a one-stop-shop to facilitate investment in Gozo. Another measure that will be implemented by the ICT GM Project relates with the carrying out of a survey amongst businesses in Gozo in order to evaluate the level of IT connectivity requirements for the island.”
Jason Azzopardi, said that ICT is an important growth area for Malta. He explained how during the last year Government invested around €1 billion in ICT businesses and continued to point out how Malta ranks second on the list of Europe’s most advanced in terms of e-Government. The Hon. Azzopardi praised the initiative taken through the ICTGM project and said that it is relevant to Government’s objectives that consider ICT as a platform for the country’s economic development.
The conference was also addressed by Mr Joe Grech, President of the Gozo Business Chamber, Mr David Pace, Project Manager as well as by Mr Ron Kelson, CEO of Synaptic and co-founder of the project who went on to explain how his company established itself in Gozo, “because government invested in the infrastructure that we needed to do what we are doing here.” Mr Claudio Grech, Chairman of MITA as well as Dr Gordon Cordina, economist, who has recently worked on a study related with Human Resources on Gozo, which study was also related with the eco-Gozo Action Plan 2010-2012.
The Ministry for Gozo said that the ICTGM project is one among 38 that will be financed through the Ministry for Gozo’s eco-Gozo Scheme for NGO’s. “The allocation of €50,000 for this particular project forms part of a total allocation of €1.24 million to be shared by 37 Gozitan NGO’s.”