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Part of MDIA’s budget has been earmarked for the creation of 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.

Applications 2023 Now Open

MDIA AI Applied Research Grant Call 2023 – Round 1 is on:
Saturday 30th September 2023 by not later than 13:00 (CET)

Interested applicants can send their application form via email on:

Overall Objective of MAARG

The overall objective of the MDIA AI Applied Research Grant (MAARG) is to support capacity-building efforts related to Artificial Intelligence research in Malta.

This Grant aims to encourage:

  • Increased capacity for AI-related research in Malta;
  • Increased investment in AI-related R&D activities;
  • Increased adoption of AI technologies by the public and private sectors;
  • Increased collaboration between academia and commercial entities.

AI Strategy Implementation and Governance

The AI Applied Research Fund is 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 its potential benefits for society;
  • Stimulating R&D through AI-related activities;
  • Fostering a culture of collaboration between research institutions and industry;
  • Demonstrating the potential benefits of AI applications to both the public and private sectors.

Advancing Malta’s AI Action Points

This Grant aims to advance progress related to a number of Actions within the Malta AI Strategy. The MAARG opened in January 2022 and was open for the 4 rounds (i.e., 4 quarters of the year 2022).

Within the first round (i.e., Q1 – January 2022 – March 2022):

  • 3 applications were awarded the grant; and

Within the fourth round (i.e., Q4 – October 2022 – December 2022):

  • an application was received during Q4.
Project 1: MedicX-KE: Knowledge -Graph based Explainability for Drug-Drug Interactions

Project Title MedicX-KE: Knowledge -Graph based Explainability for Drug-Drug Interactions
Application Received Q1/2022
Applicant/ Beneficiary
Public Research Institution (PRI) University of Malta (UM)
Project Owner The Faculty of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Grant Amount €25,000

Project Summary

  • In the last decades, people have been consuming and combining more drugs than before, increasing the number of Drug-Drug Interactions (DDIs).
  • In research, it has been reported that only less than 50% of ADRs are usually detected during these trials since these are usually very labour -intensive, time consuming, and expensive, whilst the remaining ADRs are identified during the post market surveillance, known as pharmacovigilance (PV).
  • For these reasons, a platform that can predict DDIs and serve as a reference point for known DDIs is essential to help healthcare professionals provide better and safer healthcare.
  • In this research project, we will be extending the work done on the medicine Interactions (MedicX), end to end framework. The objectives behind this project include
    • Investigate explainability and how such a feature can be introduced to allow users to understand how MedicX arrived at its result and
    • Designing and developing the medicX-KE (medicX augmented with Knowledge graphs and explainability) online portal and making the service easily accessible to healthcare professionals and the general public.

Project 2: Intelligent Precision Cosmology in the Era of New Physics (IntelliVerse)

Project Title Intelligent Precision Cosmology in the Era of New Physics (IntelliVerse)
Application Received Q1/2022
Applicant/ Beneficiary
Public Research Institution (PRI) University of Malta (UM)
Project Owner Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy Profile
Grant Amount €25,000

Project Summary

  • IntelliVerse endeavours to build a novel implementation of AI in a new cosmology pipeline that analyses data from multiple terrestrial and satellite observatories while also using these emerging technology implementations to enhance cosmology simulators that make up a core component of these cosmology pipelines.
  • This will accelerate the adoption of AI technologies in our research field and make Malta one of the leading actors in the community in this research theme.
  • This project will radically improve the current way in which cosmological studies are carried out. The new IntelliVerse pipeline will provide novel applications of AI technologies in connecting terrestrial and satellite observatory data with cosmology simulators using deep learning algorithms to entirely replace traditional Bayesian methods, which will drastically reduce the computing time needed for such analyses as well as provide a more data-driven approach to the development of new fundamental physics in cosmology.

Project 3: Optimising the cultural tourism experience through AI

Project Title Optimising the cultural tourism experience through AI
Application Received Q1/2022
Applicant/ Beneficiary
Public Research Institution (PRI) Superintendence of Cultural Heritage
Other Participants Culture Venture Ltd, Culture Hint, IE Limited, Fondazzjoni Centru ghall-kreattivita
Project Owner Directorate Corporate Services, Superintendence of Cultural Heritage
Grant Amount €24,722.80

Project Summary

  • The project is spearheaded by Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, a government body on the forefront of research for the cultural heritage sector.
  • This project is aimed at building a solid case study on the use of AI combined with audience development techniques on the tourism sector, specifically cultural tourism. As highlighted by Malta AI strategy, tourism is one of the key verticals for AI adoption. However, the sector still lags in the adoption and use of AI.
  • Thus, this project seeks to build on cultural participation research and introduce AI as a tool to monitor and forecast visitor flow at Spazju Kreattiv and inform strategic planning to optimise the visitor experience - specifically improving the Centre’s engagement with visitors.

Project 4: Intelligent Inventory (I²)

Project Title Intelligent Inventory (I²)
Application Received Q4/2022
Applicant/ Beneficiary
Public Research Institution (PRI) Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, MCAST
Project Owner Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, MCAST
Grant Amount €24,998

Project Summary

  • Given recent global events such as the COVID pandemic and war in Ukraine, the industry is facing an ever-growing challenge in maintaining lead times due to delays within the supply chain. In line with the emerging industry 4.0, this project aims to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to mitigate some of these issues by predicting disruptions before they impact supply.
  • Data from external sources and data gathered from local industry can be used to make these predictions and calculate the necessary inventory / stock parameters to minimize lead times and give local industry a competitive edge in today’s market.


MAARG 2022 Call
Funds Awarded


Total # of
Projects Awarded

The closing dates for the submission of proposals are established in the Guidance Notes.

The Grant will close upon total exhaustion of funds or at the discretion of the MDIA, whichever is the earlier.

More information can be found in the Guidance Notes. Should you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact MDIA on