Cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People’s Republic of China
In the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation signed between Malta and the People’s Republic of China in 2002, the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People’s Republic of China were nominated as the implementing agencies for cooperation within research sectors.
MCST and MOST, collaborating under the framework of the Joint Commission on Science and Technology, foreseen under the mentioned bilateral Agreement, developed a concept for a bilateral and collaborative programme for research.
MCST and MOST aim to:
Strengthen the scientific collaboration between the two countries and to increase R&D activities;
Facilitate the transfer of technology;
Maintain a comprehensive, steady, and long-term cooperation through the support of researchers’ mobility, and the networking of industries, universities and research institutions to generate mutually beneficial win-win research.
MCST and MOST launch annual Calls for funding to support bilateral R&I projects between Maltese and Chinese researchers. Each Call focuses on different thematic areas depending on the level of interest for collaboration between the two parties and ensuring alignment with Malta’s current needs and identified RIS3 priorities.
The 2019 Call had focused on providing support to the marine / maritime and transport sectors. Owing to the level of interest received in the 2019 Call, the 2020 Call again supported the sectors of marine / maritime and transport. The 2020 Call also saw the addition of the Digital Technologies sector.
For the 2021 Call, the Digital Technologies sector was retained, while two new sectors were introduced: Health Innovations and Green Transitions.
The SINO-MALTA Fund Application follows a two-stage submission process. At pre-proposal stage, applicants are given the opportunity to find Chinese partners to collaborate and work on a common research idea. The full-proposal stage will then allow further elaboration on the state of the art, methodology, implementation, and foreseen outcomes.
Surface Engineering for Additive Manufactured parts used in marine transportation (SEAM)
SEAM is a two-year research project funded by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), China, as per grant agreement number SINO-MALTA-2019-02. The project, led by Dr Ing. Ann Zammit and Prof. Jian Chen, has a budget of €350,000 and the two collaborating entities are the University of Malta (UM) and Southeast University (SEU), China. Through this project, researchers and academics at UM shall develop an international scientific collaboration with their Chinese counterparts. In addition, a number of researchers will be employed and will also be given the opportunity to conduct postgraduate (both MSc and PhD) studies.
The principal aim of SEAM is to determine the suitability of additive manufactured parts used in the marine transport industry. This aim will be achieved through the following specific objectives:
1. Optimising technologies for surface finish and internal residual stress of metallic parts manufactured by additive manufacture, followed by shot peening.
2. Designing, developing and applying anti-corrosion and anti-fouling surface engineering technologies on the 3D printed parts with the aim of improving the surface properties by inducing a homogenous microstructure, reducing porosity, increasing corrosion resistance and providing anti-fouling characteristics.
3. Building a prototype part, such as a ship propeller blade, used for marine transportation and testing it in a simulated marine environment
High-Precision Detection Technologies for Water
Quality in Aquaculture.
There is an urgent demand to innovate the monitoring technology of water quality, driven by the rapid development of recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS). Maltese AquaBioTech Group, an independent aquaculture, fisheries, biotechnology and environmental testing/research, engineering, company is continuing to advance its global vision. The Group which also specializes in consulting, development, and training will be kick-starting 2021 by embarking on a new collaborative research project AquaDetector. AquaBioTech will be partnering with high profile collaborators: the China Agricultural University, and a large aquaculture producer, Mingbo Aquatic Co. Ltd. The research will promote greater productivity and sustainability of the aquaculture industry through the development of high-precision detection technologies for monitoring water quality.
The two-year Science and Technology Cooperation Sino-Malta Fund project falls under the thematic priority Maritime and Aquaculture. It aims to develop new and precise detection technologies and an advanced correlation model to visualise water quality, classify fish stress behaviours, and analyse environmental factors to ensure better fish welfare, better productivity, better quality fish, and help make better decisions for land base recirculating aquaculture.