AI Applied Research Grant 2023

Malta Digital Innovation Authority

Relevent Country: Malta

The Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA) is seeking applications for the AI Applied Research Grant to support measures for the further diffusion of innovative technology arrangements within the public and private sector in order to increase efficiency, transparency and citizen engagement.

The MDIA has been designated as the body responsible for administering public funds through the implementation of this Grant, in line with the AI Strategy Implementation and Governance. In terms of rationale and scope, this Grant is aligned with several of the goals of the Malta AI Strategy including:

  • Building awareness of AI and IoT and their potential benefits for society.
  • Stimulating R&D through IOT and AI-related activities.
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration between research institutions and industry.
  • Demonstrating the potential benefits of IoT and AI applications to both the public and private sectors.

In addition, this Grant aims to advance progress related to the following Actions within the Malta AI Strategy:

  • Action 1, which seeks to promote AI-related collaboration between researchers, start- ups and companies.
  • Action 5, which seeks to increase investment in Malta’s AI research capabilities within higher education institutes, in order to increase academic and applied research output and drive greater collaboration with industry and international partners.
  • Action 22, which seeks to improve Malta’s standing on Oxford Insights’ Government AI Readiness Index. Improving the nation’s capacity for AI research should enable the development of competencies which in turn will facilitate the use of AI in the delivery of public services.
  • Priority will be given to credible proposals aimed at furthering progress on projects specifically mentioned within the Malta AI Strategy. Specific pilot projects mentioned within the strategy are:

AI for traffic management (Action 24)

  • AI in education (Action 25)
  • AI in healthcare (Action 26)
  • AI for customer service (Action 27)
  • AI in tourism (Action 28)
  • AI for better utilities (Action 29)


  • The overall objective of this Grant is to support capacity-building efforts related to AI and/or Internet of Things (IoT) research in Malta. Specifically, this Grant aims to encourage, inter alia, the following:
  • Increased capacity for AI-related and/or IoT research in Malta.
  • Increased investment in AI-related and/or IoT R&D activities.
  • Increased adoption of AI and/or IoT technologies by the public and private sectors.
  • Increased collaboration between academia and commercial entities.

Funding Information

  • The allocated budget for this Grant is set at €120,000.
  • The maximum grant value under this Grant is set at €40,000 per project. The aid intensity for this Grant shall be 100%.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible applicants

  • To be eligible for this grant, the applicant needs to be a local Research Institution (RI), irrespective of whether the RI carries out an economic activity or otherwise.
  • In case the research institute does not have more than 50% public ultimate shareholding, the research institute shall provide evidence of partnership, for the purpose of this Project, with an entity which has more than 50% public ultimate shareholding (ex: ministries, government entities, commissions and boards).
  • The MDIA reserves the right to reject applications for projects in instances when it reasonably suspects that the proposed project is not substantially differentiated from a previously approved project.


  • Applicants engaged in an illegal economic activity.
  • Applicants which do not have a substantial economic and physical substance in Malta.