Microsoft aims to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And in this is exactly what we are doing here, today, together, to empower every citizen and every organization in Malta to achieve more.
Ms Peggy Antonakou said this, when today the Government of Malta and Microsoft signed an important agreement focusing on several technologies including blockchain, artificial intelligence, internet of things aimed at supporting the strategic themes of the official announced National Digital Strategy in all three pillars, namely the Digital Citizen, the Digital Business and the Digital Government.
Ms Antonakou said that Malta, a small country with a big digital vision, is putting again itself in the lead. Embracing new technologies, investing strategically in a competitive advantage and translating this into economic growth and prosperity for its economy and its citizens.
Because a big digital strategy means nothing without a better life for the people.
We understand that governments cannot do this alone. As a leading technology company, we recognize our responsibility in line with our mission, to work in partnership with governments and communities to drive economic and social prosperity and ensure everyone has access to the digital dividents of development and growth.
Our presence in Malta, for the past 15 years was built on embracing and empowering exactly that. We continuously supported all aspects of Malta’s ICT eco-system, from the private to the public sector, from the education to the financial services. We were proud to support start ups and education thanks to, and not only, our very own Innovation Centre, one of the only forty we have around the globe, where we boast to have hosted more than 150 start ups and 12000 students teachers and professionals.
Through this agreement Microsoft will promote and accelerate in Malta the worldwide program of Microsoft for Startups through disruptive technologies. It’s a 500m worldwide investment and our intent is to promote it heavily in cooperation with Government. Main goal to increase further the utilization of the existing investment in the Microsoft Innovation Center for the benefits of the local economy and society. Microsoft will also further increase the readiness and digital skills in the disruptive technologies through Conferences and workshops. The company will invest in pilot innovative projects which will utilize disruptive technologies in the Public and Private Sector of Malta. In this investment as Microsoft we will contribute with the top of our specialists.
Reflecting on where the relation between the Government of Malta and Microsoft is today, and Ms Antonakou referred to an inspiring quote by Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, who in his book Hit Refresh writes that “our indsutry does not respect tradition. What it respects is innovation.” She argued that the embracement of innovation was always at the centre of the agenda since the meeting which kicked off the discussions for this agreement in January, and just like it was over the past 15 years. When at the turn of the millenium Malta started its journey to become a regional centre of excellence, there was innovation at the core. That innovation earned the country the respect of many, but back then we were among the first, if not the first global company to commit ourselves. 15 years later, Malta is once again leading the way and we’re again here, in the same room where the first agreement was signed in 2003, ready to be by Malta’s side in its continuous quest for digital leadership, by working together for a digital future.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that similar collaborations and partnerships will support Malta to gather the necessary assistance and to benefit from international expertise and know-how from true global leaders in the industry.
Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri said that this is not just a testimonial of Microsoft’s continuous trust in Malta, in our vision, and in our resources. Most importantly it is a sign of the company’s commitment to keep a strategic role in being part of Malta’s journey.
Article submitted by Corporate Identities on behalf of Microsoft