Building a world-class life sciences research facility in Malta
The need for the park was promted by a lack of infrastructure for life sciences startups and increasing brain drain by young scientists in the life sciences sector. Also there was the need to increrase business - academia collaboration and provide fertile ground for new startups and spinoffs in the sector.
The life sciences sector has a large presence within the Maltese economy. The park allows new life sciences companies to launch with minimal preparation and start-up costs. The Life Sciences Centre brings together university students, researchers, lecturers, hospital professionals and industry to interact and establish new technology and research-based firms and clusters.
The Malta Life Sciences Park offers space, including state-of-the-art laboratories, offices, seminar and meeting rooms and a range of shared facilities, all adjacent to some of the country’s leading hospitals and universities. Nearly 30 companies of all sizes have access to experienced and professional business and financial advice, as well as assistance for taking their products and services to the global market.
The park is run by Malta Enterprise through a dedicated on site team. Beneficiaries hail from both business and academia, particular those who are just starting up or are in need for collaboration.
Project Cost: €20,792,553 – supported by ERDF
Infrastructural project 2008 – 2015, started operation in 2016 and is ongoing.
Evidence of success
The park started operation in 2016 and already houses a large number of tenants who operate in a variety of sectors within the life sciences industry. The park is already having a profound impact. For example, over 25 pharma and medical device companies use the centre to successfully build their product portfolios. The campus-style environment attracts several educational institutions, which now use the facilities to carry out market-driven technology development and applied research.
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice is highly interesting for the project partners as it shows the process from identifying a national need to moulding the investment in infrastructure accordingly. Also the aptly way of using ERDF funds to support strategic investment, the process used to identify the need, stakholder involvement, the drafting of the plan etc. all this can be shared with the partners. Furthermore, results can be shared so that parters understand the potential spill over effect into the economhy of such a practice. Finally, startups themselves can be introduced to the partners to understand what has worked well for them in the park and why. Malta's reality as small economy can be particularly of interest to partner's local councils or regional governement who want to implement a science park project to address the needs of the city or region.