Technology is changing how things are designed, made, and serviced around the globe. It is also creating value by connecting individuals and machines across the value chain, making it possible to generate, securely organise, and draw insights from vast new sources of data.
That is why companies are looking more than ever into incorporating Artificial intelligence (AI) into their products and services to stay competitive.
Staying competitive also requires good leadership. Business leaders need to manage different factors such as innovation, market conditions, HR skills, product and service range, and most of all technology to determine their company’s success. In fact, the latest EU Digital Transformation Scoreboard, which is a survey conducted with European companies, showed how 46 per cent of companies investing in digital technologies have seen an increase in their annual turnover.
Considering that a recent survey by Business Insider shows that consumers today live online most of the time by spending as much as nine hours online, check their phones every 9.6 minutes, and generate an overall internet content reaching two million searches every minute, this consumer behaviour and resultant expectations need to be understood and catered for.
It is easier said than done. The new wave of technology adoption is proving to be more challenging than the initial one.
Several industries are currently learning and adopting solutions which can perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages; or function in a decentralised, distributed digital ledgers that are used to record highly secure transactions across many computers.
For instance, blockchain technology plays a role in reshaping retail relationships with the end customers. Retail stores are already employing a mix of marketing and technology to streamline supply chain and inventory management, speed up cross-border payment processing, come up with customer loyalty programmes, and manage customer data repositories. If made to work properly, such applications in retail are proven to double efficiency, reaching critical adoption by next year and becoming generally accepted by consumers in a few years’ time.
Encouraging economic activity in these future technology fields
Malta is gearing up to meet these challenges. Malta is among the first countries to have adopted an in-depth legislation regulating the issuing of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO), cryptocurrencies, the setting up of cryptocurrency exchanges and service providers of Distributed Ledger Technology (‘DLT’). Shortly, Malta will enact a fourth bill giving a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAOs) its own legal personality.
In 2019, after the setting up of a Tech.MT, a public-private partnership between the Malta Chamber and the Maltese Government, helping locally based tech companies to grow, more attention and developments are expected in AI. Currently a task force is working on a set of incentives aimed to replicate what has been done in the blockchain sector and transform the potential of AI into a new contributor to Malta’s economic growth in digital innovation.
The Malta Chamber is on the forefront of these initiatives to facilitate a domestic environment which encourages economic activity in these future technology fields. This is also why together with Enterprise Europe Network, the Malta Chamber is focusing on such technologies.
Enterprise Europe Network, or as it is better known as EEN, is quite aware of this ever-increasing need of companies to digitally transform their business. As the world’s largest support network for SMEs, EEN helps companies to turn policy into concrete business achievements, by helping companies to innovate and grow internationally. Spread across more than 60 countries; the Network brings together 3,000 experts from over 600 member organisations, which include chambers of commerce and industry, technology centres, innovation support organisations, universities and research institutes and regional development organisations.
Most of our business clients feature in the largest partnering database within the EU and associated countries; providing them with the opportunity to have their company profiles and product or service offers or requests seen across all these countries, free of charge; in the areas of business, research and technology.
With Malta creating this legally enabling environment for emerging technologies to grow, the Malta Chamber and EEN - Malta Consortium teamed up with SiGMA to help companies to move beyond the hype by creating a Brokerage Event during Malta AI & Blockchain Summit, taking place on May 23, 2019, in the afternoon.
A marketplace during the summit will help companies to engage in short pre-arraigned one-to-one meetings with overseas matching companies to: identify technology partners to develop new services and products; partner with commercial entities to offer existing AI and blockchain applications; and exchange knowledge and expertise by networking with public and private experts on latest disruptive technologies.
Interested companies are encouraged to register their participation on https://aimaltab2b.b2match.io/
The Malta Consortium within EEN is made up of Malta Enterprise, the Malta Chamber of Commerce Enterprise and Industry, Malta Business Bureau and the Malta Council for Science and Technology. The consortium can help entities in their business development journeys by combining its vast networking and a free of charge portfolio of advisory services.
Malta-based ambitious businesses are encouraged to log on the EEN Malta Consortium website www.enterprise-europemalta.com to learn more about the advisory support services it offers to companies that are interested in or operate within emerging technologies to help their business grow and internationalise.
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