Digital Malta Actions
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Actions  ACTIONS

Digital Malta puts forward a suite of actions for ICT to be used for socio-economic development.  These actions set out how ICT will make a difference in areas such as the economy, employment, industry and small businesses, and how it can be used for the good of the country, empowering citizens and transforming government.

1. Basic level of ICT competence

An education and awareness programme will be launched to boost ICT competences, media literacy and confident, critical and safe use of the Internet. The programme will be implemented at community level. Vulnerable groups will be a major focus.

2. Empowering the young through a safer Internet

Digital Citizenship will become part of the National Education Curriculum, to equip children and youths with the abilities to interact and use the Internet safely and intelligently. Parents and carers will be involved together with educators and youth workers. This action will stimulate the production of creative online content, empower the younger generation and help create a safer environment. With the support of competent authorities this measure will help combat cyber child abuse and exploitation.

3. Empowering vulnerable/minority groups and the elderly

Initiate an ongoing programme designed to assist every citizen, in particular the ageing and the vulnerable to harness the potential of ICT. Appropriately equipped ICT access and training centers will be set up within local communities to support the programme.

4. Accessibility and Assistive Technology

Internet accessibility standards will be promoted to enable everyone, irrespective of disability, to navigate and access content. Access and use of assistive technologies will be facilitated to help independent living of the elderly and vulnerable groups. This will also stimulate market demand for diverse, affordable technologies.

5. NGA Networks

There will be promotion NGA networks by demonstrating their potential applications and by supporting their introduction in homes, offices and public buildings.

6. Free access to wireless Internet

There will be free access to wireless Internet in public buildings, main squares and many public spaces around the islands.

7. Portable devices for children

Portable devices will be provided for children, their teachers and LSAs as part of the government’s vision of transforming formal education through the use of digital technologies.

8. Citizen Engagement

Contact with citizens and between citizens will be promoted, especially through the use of mobile apps and social networking websites. Guidelines on social media strategies for local government and NGOs will be developed, encouraging them to act as intermediaries in a more participative civil society.

9. Promote innovative ICT applications

Innovative ICT applications that lead to a better lifestyle will be promoted in a joint partnership with the private sector. The initiative will focus on developments that enhance daily activities such as shopping, banking, commuting and entertainment.

10. Developing online content

A programme will be established to support and stimulate the development of high quality online content that is appealing, educational and culturally distinctive. Government will support joint collaborations between public and private media providers to produce, stream or make available local digital content.

11. Maltese language tools

Government will facilitate the development and distribution of language tools to support the use of Maltese as a medium for teaching and learning, and therefore widening take-up of ICT in the Maltese language.

12. ICT initiatives for sectors facing stiff competition

Government, working with industry, will organise a series of initiatives for sectors facing stiff competition (e.g. manufacturing, construction and retail) to help them benefit from ICT.

13. Forum for the transformation of industries through ICT

A forum will be established, comprising of executives from leading local firms and industry representative bodies. The forum’s mandate will be to develop programmes to raise awareness about how ICT can help industries transform themselves and become more profitable. The Forum will discuss issues such as internationalisation, eCommerce, the use of social networking as a business tool, the benefits of NGA networks, self-regulation, compliance with web accessibility guidelines, and supply chain management.

14. ICT capability framework for SMEs and co-operatives

A framework will be developed to enable local SMEs and co-operatives to assess their ICT capability, human capital and ICT-enabled processes and technology. This will be supported by 'benchmarking' and roadmaps to enable these organisations to improve performance and derive increased ICT business value from their human, technical and operational assets.

15. ICT training programmes

Government will support enterprises by administering ICT training programmes for their employees. The programmes will focus on unskilled and semi-skilled workers with the objective of improving their productivity, employability and mobility. They will also promote understanding of new business models enabled through technology. In parallel, ICT up-skilling and re-skilling programmes will be re-introduced.

16. Supporting entrepreneurship

Collaborating with stakeholders, government will: Invest resources to cultivate a widespread entrepreneurial mind-set, allowing for the launch of more ICT start-ups and young high-growth ventures exploiting ICTs. Special emphasis will be devoted to Gozo-based entrepreneurial initiatives in view of the island’s difficulties in developing a mature ICT industry ; Facilitate improved ‘access to capital’ programmes for start-ups, micro and small firms. This includes the setting up of a business angels network, incentives for crowd-funding and other investor schemes; Provide firms with incentives to deploy advanced ICT services in unprofitable areas. These could be interest-free credit, subsidies, or preferential tax rates.

17. Attracting FDI in ICT

Measures will be taken to attract foreign ICT companies with the objective of transforming Malta into a regional hub for technological cooperation and trade. These will include: Corporate packages, structures and business models that target FDI in ICT ventures, start-ups, ICT educational collaborations and niche markets such as digital games, mobile apps and other creative content; Actively supporting SmartCity Malta and others involved in incubation or innovation activities.

18. Cloud Computing

The government in partnership with industry will develop a strategy on ‘Cloud Computing’ aimed at establishing Malta as a world-class hub for the provision of cloud computing services, boosting innovation and productivity across the digital economy.

19. Digital Gaming

Execute a Digital Games strategy in an attempt to strengthen what Malta offers operators in the sector, including improving the specialist skills base.

20. Widening horizons

Government, working with industry bodies, will develop policies and incentives to: Enable ICT clusters to flourish. Technology development, innovation and internationalisation should be the main focus of clustering activity. Support may include seed funding, market intelligence services, and internationalisation services; Exploit Malta’s eGovernment expertise to develop training and consultancy services for other countries, especially those with cultural or traditional links in the Mediterranean or the Commonwealth; Promote the concept of ‘Born Global’ products and services.

21. ICT-focused incentive schemes

Incentive schemes and voucher-based credit lines will be developed to enable local SMEs and co-operatives to benefit from free or subsidised consultancy services. This will help them adopt digital technology and innovative business models to both establish themselves online and internationalise their products and services.

22. eCommerce markets

Government and industry stakeholders will: Develop measures to sustain and grow the local eCommerce market on both the supply and demand sides; Implement initiatives to assist and further drive the adoption of eCommerce by business sectors with the potential to capitalise on web technologies and penetrate foreign markets; Identify opportunities for Malta to attract business activities that operate or support global eCommerce markets.

23. Emerging electronic transactions

Government, working with payment providers, will develop an education programme to explain and promote different forms of electronic transactions and emerging monetisation models. The programme will explain business models, technologies, costs and risks.

24. Harnessing international R&I funding

Local ICT companies need to take advantage of pan-European and international R&I funding frameworks and industrial development funding opportunities. To help in this, government will: Provide logistical and brokerage support; Offer incentives to companies to invest time and human resources researching and developing innovative products, processes, and services and new marketing methods.

25. Open innovation

Government will set up a multi-stakeholder Innovation Centre to offer incentives for ICT-themed R&D, idea-generation, incubation and innovation with a view towards co-creation and open innovation. Its purpose will be to: Create an environment to enable open collaboration by enterprises, academic institutions and public bodies wishing to engage in R&I activities, particularly projects requiring testing and validation in real-life settings; Attract multi-national enterprises, contributing different technological platforms and expertise; Provide mentorship, specialised training and an alternative ICT incubation facility for young entrepreneurs, students and start-ups wishing to test and demonstrate their innovations in a live environment; Serve as a networking hub and a show-case of locally developed talent and products.

26. Transacting with government

Citizens and organisations will be able to transact securely with government using different channels. The take-up of online services will be encouraged by making them easy to use and available on mobile devices. These services will include online forms, ePayments and eInvoicing.

27. One-stop shop

Citizens and businesses will benefit from a one-stop shop concept. They will be able to access services from their home or office, or through agents. Practices such as ‘one face to government’, ‘one-login’, ‘service-personalisation’ and ‘ask-only-once’ will be the driving force.

28. Collaborative digital environment

Government will work with stakeholders to: Assist departments and entities to adopt technology that integrates cross-departmental services; Facilitate the use, management, retention, preservation and archiving of born-digital records so that these remain accessible and usable; Protect corporate knowledge, and improve data security, integrity, accessibility, traceability and archiving. Industry standards for records and information management and business classification scheme will be adopted; Strengthen knowledge sharing; Enable workflows; Provide collaborative environments for unified working across multiple devices and media-types.

29. Business Analytics

Public officials will be equipped with the right tools to analyse government data. This will support decision-making and help identify gaps and opportunities.

30. ICT Innovation in procurement

Government will use its position as a major procurer to stimulate demand for innovative ICT. It will encourage collaboration between local players and, as an early adopter, it will act as a showcase for locally-produced technology. Innovative policies will improve procurement cycles and deliver better value. The eProcurement framework will be extended to cover eOrdering, eInvoicing and ePayments.

31. Strategic Alliances

Government will continue to explore opportunities for cooperation, alliances and partnerships with reputable multinationals so as to maximise the return on investments and adopt international best practices.

32. Open Government Data

In addition to facilitating the sharing of data across public administration, government will make public sector information available to all as allowed by law. Structured data will be published in a way that it can be interlinked (Linked Open Government Data) and become more useful to government entities, third parties and respective systems. The adoption of Big Data technologies will allow complex data to be processed, improving decision-making in critical areas such as finance, healthcare, transport, utilities and the environment.

33. eDemocracy

Government is committed to using ICT to encourage citizens to take part in democratic decision-making. Initiatives will be implemented to enhance the visibility, transparency and accountability of government.

34. Sector specific ICT programmes

Sector specific ICT programmes or strategies will be developed by collaborating with all stakeholders. There will be a philosophy of cutting across ministerial boundaries. The ultimate aim will be to secure consistency, buy-in, effectiveness in implementation and value to citizens and businesses as the ultimate beneficiaries.

35. eLearning

A complete ICT infrastructure will be provided for educators, students and parents, encouraging a digital mindset and widening learning opportunities. Educators will be supported to make full use of eLearning platforms and other digital learning technologies.

36. eHealth

Citizens will be empowered by providing them with secure and easy access to their health records. Similarly, healthcare providers will gain secure and seamless access to the patients’ records.

37. Transportation

Government will use digital technology in land, sea and air transport. Special emphasis will be given to the deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems for improving road safety, traffic flow and in-country travel.

38. Digital Single Market

Malta will seek to maximise the benefits and opportunities deriving from legislation adopted within the EU. As at 2014, these include: The Data Protection Framework; The Electronic Identification and Trust Services Regulation; The Information Society Directive; Regulation concerning the European single market for electronic communications and achieving a Connected Continent.

39. Radio spectrum for mobile data communications

The regulatory framework will ensure sufficient radio spectrum for mobile data communication while safeguarding the availability of spectrum for public security.

40. Digital legislation and contracts

Government will work with stakeholders to: Have a process whereby new laws, once enacted, are digital by default; Evaluate existing laws to align them with the Digital Malta vision; Enable contracts, which are subject to the formalities of the Notarial Profession and Notarial Archives Act, to be in digital format from the outset.

41. Infrastructure based competition

The legal and regulatory framework shall support investment in new broadband networks and stimulate infrastructure-based competition.

42. Standards and Good Practice

Government will collaborate with stakeholders to support and promote: National and EU cross-border interoperability; ICT standards based on industry best practices; Green ICT.

43. Cyber Crime Legislation

Government will review existing legislation to ensure relevance and effectiveness in the cyber world, for example in dealing with cyber bullying.

44. Digital legislation and regulation

Government will provide measures to maintain privacy, safety and security while surfing, transacting and operating on-line. Legislation will address several matters: Safeguarding intellectual property rights; Patents; Sensitive and personal information; Cloud Computing and data ownership; Contentious content; Net Neutrality; Vendor Lock-in and Exit Management strategies; Online contracts and license agreements.

45. Supporting NGA Networks

The MCA regulatory regime will foster innovation and investment to support the development of NGA Networks in Malta. It will have the objectives of ensuring competition and affordable access to these networks.

46. Broadband Supply and Demand

The MCA will monitor supply and demand of broadband, anticipating change, supporting development and facilitating the deployment and development of NGA Networks in Malta.

47. IPv6

Government will promote deployment of the IPv6 protocol, for identifying and locating computers on networks and traffic routes across the Internet. This acknowledges the need to prepare for an ‘Internet of Everything,’ where all objects connected to the web must be uniquely identified.

48. Network Infrastructure Sharing Opportunities

A framework to facilitate and regulate network infrastructure sharing will be established to safeguard the long-term growth and development of the telecommunications sector, while ensuring healthy competition.

49. Safeguarding Networks

Risk mitigation measures will be introduced to safeguard networks from damage caused by third-party operations.

50. Quality of Service

End-user interest in the electronic communications sector will be safeguarded by improving the quality of information available to them and ensuring service providers meet contractually agreed QoS levels.

51. International Connectivity

Opportunities for new submarine cable routes, connecting Malta to mainland Europe or North Africa, will be evaluated. The objective will be to strengthen the country’s connectivity to international networks and hubs, increase resilience and improve investment.

52. Connectivity between Malta and Gozo

A feasibility study will determine optimal data connectivity between the Maltese islands with a particular focus on resiliency and bandwidth between Malta and Gozo. The outcome will guide the type and extent of investment to be made.

53. National Cyber Security Strategy

Government will enforce a National Cyber Security Strategy, to help ensure a safer Internet, the protection of critical infrastructure, the rule of law, accountability and privacy. The main pillars will be designed to: Combat Cyber Crime. Law enforcement agencies will identify gaps and strengthen their capability to investigate and combat cybercrime; Strengthen National Cyber Defence. Public and private entities will be guided and assisted in strengthening their cyber defence capabilities; Secure Cyberspace. Higher levels of trust will be instilled through awareness programmes and the delivery of trustworthy, ICT-enabled services that assure confidentiality, integrity, availability and privacy; Build Capacity. The skills and educational frameworks required will be identified and developed.

54. Authentication Services

Government will: Simplify the process for authentication to access its online services; Work with banks and other organisations to develop a national electronic identity card as a trusted source of authentication; Bring authentication services into alignment with EU standards and allow fellow European citizens access using their national electronic identity; Develop a roadmap, aligned to likely technological advancements and emerging needs.

55. Trust Services

Services will be provided to facilitate the creation, verification, validation, handling and preservation of electronic signatures, electronic seals, electronic time stamps, electronic documents, electronic delivery services, website authentication, and electronic certificates.

56. Modernisation and Re-Use

Government will accelerate the modernisation of ICT implementations, maintain a cartography of ICT assets, and promote the re-use of mature local and EU established ICT building blocks using the Enterprise Architecture & Road-mapping Initiative of MITA.

57. Foresight

Foresight projects will be launched to identify how important ICT driven themes, such as identity and social networking, can be best used for stimulating economic growth.

58. Incubation of novel ICT driven solutions

Government will pilot ICT projects and embrace those that modernise public administration or promote economic growth. This will be delivered in collaboration with various EU-led programmes.

59. Integrating critical skills across educational and formative experiences

Government will fund access to resources, training and industry readiness programmes. These will include apprenticeships and internships, and help with imparting skills such as problem-solving, computational thinking, and data and information processing. Soft-skills and aptitudes, such as intellectual curiosity, flexibility and e-entrepreneurship, will be woven into the fabric of formal education. Programmes will be supported and promoted in and after school, on and off campus, throughout the year, across public and private institutions. Projects and spin-offs, arising from such programmes, will be celebrated, for example through annual competitions.

60. Building national capacity in specialist skills-sets

Through educational institutions and industry, government will support the creation of specialist educational pathways, addressing labour market requirements. Government will develop the curriculum and provide technical materials.

61. Investing further in and celebrating the education community

Educators will be given opportunities and incentives to explore cross-disciplinary approaches, embracing technology. Innovative teaching and achievements will be celebrated. Local best practice will be shared.

62. Awareness-raising on eskills education and careers

Government will resource awareness campaigns about careers requiring eskills and the education opportunities available. Target audiences will be identified by collaborating with stakeholders. Action will be taken to minimise the gender imbalance in the technology field.

63. Improve employability through lifelong learning and career support

Work with educational institutions, community organisations and industry, to develop a Lifelong Learning Programme, with eskills at its core, so as to improve worker employability in the digital economy. There will be a support framework of career guidance, financial incentives, flexible learning paths and intense use of elearning. Special emphasis will be assigned to vulnerable groups.

64. Update the Ecompetence Framework

Continue investing in the Standards for ITalent, as the eCompetence framework for providing defined, visible career streams for individuals in the ICT profession. The framework will be updated to reflect European and international developments standards and reflect feedback from stakeholders. Industry and educational institutions will be encouraged to adopt this eCompetence framework. The standards will be promoted as occupational guidelines with easy-to-use tools for professionals and aspiring practitioners to map their skills portfolio with career development.

65. Promote excellence in the professionalism of the local ICT workforce

Support mechanisms to develop excellence in the ICT workforce. The building blocks of the profession include the eCompetence framework, a foundational body of knowledge, ethics and education. Other supporting components will be explored, such as profiling tools, registers and portfolios for practitioners.

66. Quality assure for ICT educational programmes

Ensure the adoption of quality assurance processes in the delivery of ICT educational and training programmes so that the content and materials are in line with industry demands. This will be managed through the educational authorities.

67. Validate technology-related experience and education

Validate informal technology-related experience and education of ICT practitioners. This will be done jointly with the educational authorities and educational institutions.

68. Increase female participation

Identify the main challenges women face to participate in the ICT workforce. Incentives will be offered to employers to recruit more women.

69. Take informed action

Monitor demand for eskills. Qualitative and quantitative research will be shared with stakeholders for co-ordinated action when needed.

70. Eskills education in other critical sectors

Government will embark on a plan to internationalise the Maltese eskills educational sector to attract education tourism. This will capitalise on the success of the English-language educational tourism initiative. The plan will address the need to enhance Malta's attractiveness as an e-skills training destination, deal with deficiencies, and provide investment support for educational providers.

71. International ICT education programmes

Incentives will be provided for the creation of joint international ICT education programmes at vocational, academic and executive levels. These programmes will be carried out in co-operation with reputable international educational institutions.