Six bionic inventions presented in Julian’s Tech Startup Challenge
Bionic eyes, cybernetic suits, brain-machine interfaces, and other product concepts were presented by 6 groups, each made up of 4 brilliant minded teenage students from various secondary schools across Malta and Gozo, to an expert panel during the Julian’s Tech Startup Challenge. This event was organised by the Julian's Pathfinder Foundation in collaboration with the University of Malta together with Bank of Valletta, Melita Foundation and Malta Enterprise.
The scope of Julian’s Pathfinder Foundation is to support gifted children in reaching their full potential and find their paths in life where they excel and make a positive contribution to society. Throughout the Foundation’s collaboration with Bank of Valletta, these 24 students had the opportunity to participate in focused educational activities and to come up with concepts on the theme of ‘Bionic Inventions’. The academic programme was led by Prof Pierre Schembri Wismayer with the support of University lecturers and researchers specialised in their respective areas. The participants were stimulated with the process of coming up with innovative and useful ideas around a central multidisciplinary theme in the field of science and technology.
The project also aimed at instilling an entrepreneurial mindset and providing a structured approach for developing innovative ideas. Participants had to present their concepts to a panel of experts from various areas and answer questions from the panel about their projects. The panel was made up of Albert Frendo (BOV’s Chief Business Banking Officer), Simon Montanaro (Melita Foundation), David Anthony Gatt (Chief Officer Marketing, Malta Enterprise), Prof Simon Fabri (Prorector for Research, University of Malta), Dr. George Galea (Senior Lecturer, University of Malta) and Prof Christopher James (Director, Biomedical Engineering Institute at University of Warwick).
Speaking after the presentations, Mr Frendo expressed his satisfaction at the level of detail of the proposals. ‘Events such as this one provide gifted children with the opportunity to showcase their intellectual abilities as well as to explore the up-and-coming generations’ ideas into making the world a better place by brainstorming and planning these product concepts’.
Students brainstorm sustainability project ideas during BOV internship week
In parallel, students with sustainability acumen from an earlier event organised by the Julian’s Pathfinder Foundation were given the opportunity to showcase their projects during an internship week within the Bank’s ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) Department.
During their internship, students had the opportunity to understand how the Bank drives performance. They worked with colleagues coming from different backgrounds and possessing different skills and expertise. Concurrently, students were given the opportunity to secure their participation in a forthcoming Bank Risk Conference entitled “The future of Risk Management: emerging technologies and climate change”.
The Bank is proud to say that in line with its ESG commitment it contributes towards inclusive and equitable quality education as it attests to its strong belief that investment in today’s education will give the Maltese society a much better return in the future.
Speaking about both initiatives, Miguel Borg, Chief Risk Officer Bank of Valletta remarked “the students had the opportunity to spend time with, and learn from, executives and senior management members. Students also discussed and explored career progression opportunities within the organisation”. He emphasized on the fact that BOV is proud to say that in line with its ESG commitment it contributes towards inclusive and equitable quality education as it attests to its strong belief that investment in today’s education will give the Maltese society a much better return in the future.