EU funding for the Digitisation of Cultural and Scientific Legacy
By Pedro Fernandez Alvarez
As National Contact Point for the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) I delivered a presentation on funding for digitisation of content available under this programme to entities falling under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. The keen interest shown in this topic is not surprising, especially when related to heritage. Cultural and scientific heritage can be difficult and costly to store safely, and much material is deemed in danger of complete degradation. If this material is digitised and made available in digital format it will be easy accessible to local and foreign citizens, businesses and academia to enjoy and use, for example in research. Clearly another advantage is that it would be preserved for future generations to enjoy. Maltese culture, be it buildings, paintings, artefacts, filmed material, photos, books, songs and much more, could be available just by the click of a PC’s mouse.
Funding for digitisation of content is available under a number of Community funding programmes which support the EU’s Commission “Digital Libraries Initiative” (DLI). Digital Libraries was launched as flagship initiative in 2005, as part of the Europe’s i2010 policy to boost Europe’s digital economy. The aim of the i2010 strategy is to bring together the information and communication technology industry and the media. It focuses on three concrete policy priorities: the creation of a single European information space; increase investment in ICT; and the promotion of an inclusive European information society.
Subsequently, through the DLI the EU seeks to improve accessibility, use and preservation of Europe’s rich and divers heritage and scientific information in the online environment by digitisation and online publishing of these. Additionally the EU aims at developing further the Europeana e-portal (www.europeana.eu), a web search platform to a collection of European digital libraries, which was launched by the European Commission last year. It aims at making it a single, user-friendly access point for consulting digital copies of the materials held by European libraries, museums, archives and other private content holders, like publishers.
One of the EU funding programmes that support the DLI, and more specifically the digitisation of content, is the CIP programme. One of this programme’s overarching objectives is to support and encourage a better take-up and use of ICT whilst supporting the development of a European information society. This objective is tackled under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP), which is one of the three CIP operational pillars. In brief, the ICT PSP aims at accelerating the development of a sustainable, competitive, innovative and inclusive information society through the best use and wider adoption of ICT by citizens, businesses and governments. Funding is mainly aimed, as the name of the programme implies, to support policy and policy makers. However, it is important to point out that this programme can benefit SMEs as well, notably by encouraging the development of lead markets for innovative ICT-based solutions, in this case especially in the areas of public interest.
The EU launches annual ICT PSP calls for proposals to achieve a number of objectives which are set out every year in the work programme. Usually the new objectives build on the intentions as well as experiences of the past call. The programme supports various pilot projects that build on member state’s initiatives or ensure deployment of new ICT solutions as well thematic networks which encourage experience sharing and consensus building. Through call for tenders it funds policy analysis, awareness raising and promotion campaigns. Additionally the programme supports the development of digital content. There are a good number of Maltese entities that applied for funding within a consortium under previous calls of the ICT PSP programme and some proposals got funded.
The 2009 ICT PSP call included ‘Digital Libraries’ as one of its main funding themes. Under this theme funding was made available for a number of actions: supporting the build-up of Europeana’s operational part; increase the quantity of quality content available through Europeana; support for targeted digitisation actions in synergy with and completing collections already accessible through Europeana; carry out conclusive experiments with open access to digital libraries of scientific and/or scholarly content; and improving the availability and relevance of cultural content for education and life-long learning use in a multilingual and multicultural context. Whilst objectives usually change from year to year it is expected that Digital Libraries will still be one of the main funding themes again, and that the call will build on the aforementioned 2009 objectives.
The 2010 call for proposals should be published in end January 2010 with a deadline in June 2010. Even though these dates seem far away, I recommend that local entities that are interested in participating in ICT PSP projects start at their earliest to be ahead of the game. Funding under the ICT PSP is allocated to a consortium, and not to an individual entity. Hence, participating in these kind of EU funded projects takes quite a bit of preparation.
In my opinion there are three steps one should begin with: firstly clearly list your own aims and objectives vis-à-vis the project – what do you want to achieve? Secondly, clearly list what your possible value added for your project partners would be – why would other European entities should work with you? Thirdly, find the right partners for your project. Remember that the project should address your aims and objectives as well as your partners’. Additionally, keep in mind that you will need to provide for your own share of co-funding, as the EU usually does not fund the full project. Therefore it is paramount that, once you know the co-funding rate, you can budget for the project.
As I mentioned before, ICT companies can partner in such projects. Their role can be, amongst others, the providers of know-how, developers of the project’s ICT structure, providing the actual digitisation of the material. Participating companies, especially SMEs, can gain valuable experience, tap into potential new markets and increase their international client base or partner network.
It is likely that EU funding will be made available under the 2010 ICT PSP call to assist and co-fund part of the efforts to digitise content and in this way preserve cultural heritage and scientific archives. It is important to start preparing now if you are interested in participating.
Published 3rd September 2009 in the Malta Business Weekly: http://www.maltabusinessweekly.com.mt//news.asp?newsitemid=7726
EU Funding for Energy & Environment
By Pedro Fernandez Alvarez
Energy efficiency, renewables and environmental topics are high placed on the overall agenda of the EU and are high on its 2007-2013 budget priority list. There are various EU funding programmes available to co-fund projects in these areas. EU funding is administrated in two different ways: there are the so called direct funds which are administrated in Brussels (for example CIP, FP7 and LIFE+) and the indirect funds administrated and implemented by the local authorities (the Structural Funds like ERDF and ESF).
Funding programmes are targeted to contribute to various EU policies and strategies that provide the overall guidelines and form the backdrop for developing and implementing them. In the case of funding for energy and environment these EU policies and strategies include the Lisbon Strategy (aimed at the EU becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion); the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (intended at being a catalyst for policy-makers and public opinion promoting changes in corporate and consumer behavior), the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (covering a wide range of activities to promote eco innovation and use of environmental technologies); and the Sixth Community Environmental Action Program (which takes a broad look at the European environmental challenges and provides a strategic framework for the Commission's environmental policy up to 2012).
The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the EU funding programme for research and technological development, is one of the largest sources of EU funding available. It a wide range of coverage and not only for energy and environment projects. FP7 has a 2007-2013 budget of around €200 million for research related to environment, around €235 million for energy and around €410 million for transport which is considered to be an important research area related to energy and environment. The Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE) and the Eco Innovation Call – both falling under the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) – as well as the Life+ programme are EU funding programmes exclusively dedicated to energy and environment projects and their respective budgets are €730 million, €200 million and €214 million. The programmes issue yearly calls for proposals and tenders. The 2007-2013 budgets are distributed spread out way over the budget years.
Even though the above mentioned EU funding programmes can be used on a “stand alone basis”, the EU seems to be increasingly pushing for the different funding programmes (including Structural Funds) to complement each other: under FP7 co-funding for the research and technological development part of a project could be sought (for example the development of a model); IEE, Eco Innovation and LIFE+ could partly fund innovation and improvements in the energy and environment sectors (for example training, deployment of a methodology, a study, capacity building or exchange of best practices); whilst Structural Funds could be approached for the projects’ hardware funding (for example the actual building of a waste recycling centre). It is advisable to have a look at the various project databases available through the websites of each programme, in order to understand better the type of activities that can be supported under each programme.
There are two main lines of thoughts on how these synergies of the various funding programmes could be put into use. The first one is a linear approach, which means that funding is obtained firstly for research and technology development of a product under FP7, then funding is obtained for facilitating the market uptake under IEE and finally, for the hardware to produce the product or offer the service, obtain funding under the Structural Funds. Another line of thought would be an integrated approach, using these funds next to each other in the same project, for example using structural funds to fund the hardware needed to do research and development or using IEE to fund a study to be able to implement a Structural Funds project in the best way possible. Both systems have their pros and cons, and one would need to clearly see if and which one would be best applicable, depending on the needs, aims and objectives of the particular envisaged project(s) and situation. An important consideration is that EU funding is not necessarily always granted, as it is a competitive process. Hence, it is essential that EU funding is seen as possible financial assistance for a project rather than the budget per se for the project.
Overall it is recommended that one has a clear idea and worked out plan of action to justify the effort to take part in an EU funded project. As the EU funds only part of the project, increasing one’s cash flow should not be the main motivation for participating in these kinds of projects. In fact, it is calculated that participation in an EU funded project will cost the participant on average between 25 and 50% of his allocation of the project budget. Sometimes these costs can be mitigated by using own staff for the project and in that way reduce the staff cost element or through a flat rate for overheads (the percentage for overheads differs per programme and per call). It is clear that you need to assume the costs of an EU funded project in your organisation’s financial projections before accepting to participate as well as weighing the disadvantages against the advantages.
Common disadvantages of participation in EU projects are the long time between submission of the proposal and the actual start of the project, which can be as long as one year; the inflexibility of the agreement, one is bound to complete the project even if external circumstances make it impossible; the project timeframe is usually 2 to 3 years, which especially for SMEs is a long commitment; issues at implementation stage, arising from difficulties of working in a consortium; the administrative burden of the project, even for project partners; and finally the need for dedicated human resources, well prepared to undertake not only the technical part, but also the project coordination element.
Advantages include that EU funding is usually a grant and not a loan; creating partnerships can give you a lot of value added, one can see participation in a project with several partners as a marketing exercise in which you gain a number of potential clients or business partners; you will have access to technical knowledge, IPR and contacts of your project partners; you can identify new opportunities during these projects; as well as develop products or services – including IPR – that can be used or sold after the project.
Published 29th October 2009 in The Malta Business Weekly:
EU funding: EIB support for intelligent energy projects development
By Pedro Fernandez Alvarez
The European Union’s Intelligent Energy Programme (IEE) is a Community funding programme aimed at facilitating the promotion of policies and favourable market conditions for energy efficiency and renewables. It does this through co-financing ‘soft’ measures like market development, capacity building, institutional change, regulatory changes and promotion. The programme runs from 2007 till 2013 and yearly calls are issued for proposals for these so called ‘Promotion and Dissemination Projects’. Such projects can offer a good number of opportunities for both public and private Maltese organizations. IEE projects involve cooperation between different market actors, being mainly public authorities, public service providers, energy agencies, multiplier organisations or interest representation associations and finally the commercial sector – like single businesses, letting companies and consultancies.
Contrary to what many people assume, IEE does not fund hardware/infrastructure investments for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Neither does it fund energy Research & Development (R&D) projects nor demonstration projects. R&D projects on energy could perhaps be funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), whilst funding for hardware and infrastructure could be possibly sought from Structural Funds. This is the manner in which the main Community funding instruments are envisaged to complement each other and synergize.
From the latest IEE statistics it becomes evident that more and more Maltese organisations are progressively improving their knowledge and understanding of how EU funding works, what potential benefits can be obtained and where to find assistance to tap into these opportunities. There has been a substantial increase in Maltese participation at proposal-stage in IEE 2009 if compared to last years call.
From over 400 proposals for projects that have been submitted to the European Commission under the IEE 2009 call (which closed last June), a minimum of 34 proposals are known to the National Contact Point to have a Maltese partner. The proposals evaluation process is carried out in Brussels and its results are expected to be available in December. Funding negotiations will then start in respect to the highest ranked projects. The conclusion of funding agreements and projects kick-off would follow in the next couple of months (early 2010).
Preparations for the next call are already underway. The 2010 call will open next March and the new priorities are being drafted at EU level. The 2010 work programme with the exact details of priorities is not yet published but it is expected that much importance will be given to training in respect of energy efficiency and renewable energy issues in a number of sectors, amongst other building, housing and transport.
Project Development Services for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Projects in Municipalities and Regions
Additionally to the ‘Promotion and Dissemination Projects’ another initiative has been launched under the IEE this year: the Sustainable Energy Financing Initiative (SEF Initiative). The SEF Initiative is part of the European Economic Recovery Plan – the action plan to drive a coordinated EU response to the economic crisis – adopted by the European Commission in late 2008. The aim of this initiative is to increase the introduction of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in the EU by adopting innovative financial techniques and practices.The initiative seeks to ensure the market replication of proven technologies and processes within the EU through a number of pilot cases.
This cooperation scheme between the Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) was approved last June. One of the main actions under the SEF Initiative, and its primary focus in 2009, is to provide project development services for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in municipalities and regions and allocates €15m in this respect on a ‘first come first serve’ basis. These project development services are designed to support bankable projects – in other words projects that make commercial sense – by helping the applicants to identify, structure and implement projects and in that way enhance local capacity for project development. Moreover, the SEF initiative will support local banks and other intermediaries in project risk assessment. Eligible projects will be selected by the EIB and submitted to the Commission for its approval.
This funding facility is to be managed by the EIB and is expected to become operational during the autumn of this year. ‘Market Replication Projects’ (MRP) correspond to a new type of project in the programme and complement the ‘promotion and dissemination projects’, however equally contribute to the main objective of IEE: tackling non-technological barriers to the spread of efficient use of energy and greater use of new and renewable energy sources.
Priority areas for action
The EIB and the Commission have identified as priority for action in 2009 the provision of these project development services so as to assist local municipalities to implement their Sustainable Energy Action Plans. Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) will play a substantial role in implementing investments in these areas.
The support is focussed on four sectors. The first sector is public buildings (including social housing) and municipal infrastructures, to support increased energy performance by implementing local energy efficiency and renewables investment plans.
Secondly it supports project identification and development of district heating and cooling - with emphasis on combined heat and power systems.
The third sector acknowledged is public transport and integrated mobility. The Commission has identified two main areas to be tackled. The first area is the ‘CleanBus Framework Financial Facility (CFFF)’, which is targeted at local administrations’ bus fleets, public and private providers of urban transport services and bus leasing companies in order to promote new technologies which exist but are not yet widespread (like hybrid buses). Then ‘Innovative solutions to optimise urban logistics’ aims at developing new concepts regarding the delivery of goods in urban areas in order to reduce the impact on traffic congestion and the consequent energy losses and environmental damage. The proposal is to co-finance pilot projects in cities that are ready to take an integrative and innovative approach to goods delivery.
The last sector supports horizontal and supporting activities which include ad-hoc advisory services, the provision for general support given to municipalities, risk management training for financial intermediaries; as well as structuring Private Public Partnerships (PPP) for projects developed in the described sectors.
The eligible costs (up to 100%) can be related to external experts contracted or additional staff hired by the beneficiary (for instance for the setting up of project implementation units), to carry out Project Development Services for the preparation of an eligible investment project. For example, the integration of renewables by local authorities into the built environment (such as solar PV systems) could be considered an eligible investment project and may be eligible for up to 100% co-financing of the expenses to be incurred in respect to its development and preparation. Eligible project development services can relate to feasibility and market studies, structuring of projects, business plans, energy audits, preparation of tendering procedures and contractual arrangements and any other assistance necessary for the development of investment projects or programmes for the final beneficiaries. One has to keep in mind that there are of course a number of indicators considered when selecting the projects to receive support, amongst other the height of the investment mobilised, the cumulative energy savings achieved and the number of bankable projects identified by the EIB.
The main target groups are cities/towns, municipalities and regions committed to achieving and going beyond the objectives of the EU’s sustainable energy policy. The key players in project development are local and regional energy actors, for instance energy agencies or public project developers, as well as intermediate banks and housing associations. As the projects will be implemented at local and regional levels, local SMEs will be central to the physical implementation of the energy efficiency and renewables investments.
From 2010 onwards project development services will be further developed depending on how this first phase follows through. However, appropriately structured financial instruments from the EIB are envisaged from 2010–2013 with the aim of supporting the activities planned under the SEF Initiative.
Project Development Services for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Projects in Municipalities and Regions
How does it work?
- Based on Sustainable Energy Action Plans, EIB identifies ‘bankable’ investment programmes for its support
- EIB pre-appraises projects of cities (or groups of) that have concrete and sufficiently large investment programmes to implement the objectives of the EU sustainable energy policy
- From 2010 onwards, project development services will be further developed according to market testing and response, and appropriate financial instruments will be prepared in their support.
Published 10th September 2009 in The Malta Business Weekly:
EU taking the lead on eParticipation
By Pedro Fernandez Alvarez
As the World Wide Web gains recognition with the public for the expression of opinions, citizens’ involvement in policy development through internet is changing the features of democracy. The increase in importance of cyberspace has created neologisms such as e-Democracy, e-Government and e-Participation. The Maltese government has launched a number of local eGov initiatives, ranking Malta at a reasonable good position compared to other states in this regard. It placed 29th from 191 States in the United Nations (UN) e-Government Readiness index e-Government survey of 2008. The EU institutions are determined to improve and augment e-Participation at local, and certainly at EU level, in an attempt to counter the general low citizens’ participation in politics and policy making, most notably in the general low turnout registered at the latest European elections last month. The EU has made available EU funding to improve and deploy ICT for citizen and government interaction.
The EU has witnessed a steady increase in the use of internet and ICT tools by its own institutions, its Member States’ governments, the media, interest organisations and the general public to engage in politics and governance, both on local and at international level. It is clear that the internet has fashioned a shift from traditional governance to electronic democratization, by means of information-communication technologies (ICT) designed for strengthening democratic legitimacy of the egalitarian system. In this regard ICT is essential to improve political participation of society by facilitating improved electronic access to public information and a forum to participate in political discussions.
The European Executive has taken up eDemocracy as part of eCommission, the modernisation of internal administration, improved communication - in particular with Member States and other European institutions - and better public services to citizens and businesses. The general public and the business community can avail themselves of all EU legislation and other official Commission documents online, and are given the opportunity for spontaneous feedback as well as for voicing their opinion through internet based consultation.
The internet in general, social networking sites, weblogs, discussion boards, RSS feeds, wikis, chatrooms, interactive portals and other ICT tools and technologies allow citizens to participate directly and reasonable effortless in political affairs. Politicians have understood the need to electronically connect to citizens and promote their participation in affairs of state, in an attempt to bridge possible gaps between the administration and the voters. The increased knowledge, availability and usage of the internet and ICT-based applications amongst all layers of society clearly enables enhanced participation from citizens, businesses and interest groups. For these the clear benefits are cost savings as well as minimize the time loss which benefits directly Europe’s economy.
The usage of ICT for governance, also known as e-Government, can improve citizens’ understanding of policy making and provide citizens a tool to put matters of civil interest on the politicians’ agenda. The online publishing of information, legislation, policies and agendas makes government more transparent and enables a better informed participation of the citizens in consultations and debates. It also facilitates the two-way communication between government and society, through efficient, all-inclusive and personalised services.
e-Government is also increasingly popular in the local scenario. From the European Commission’s i2010 mid-term review of last year it shows that Malta is a leader in the provision of online basic public services for enterprises. Furthermore, the availability of public services for Maltese citizens ranked 2nd best in the EU. Additionally, in 2007 Malta placed second in the country ranking for online sophistication and for fully online availability of e-Government services in the European Commission’s report ‘The User Challenge: Benchmarking the supply of online public services’.
The Maltese Government has developed various tools and ICT applications that can be referred to as ‘citizens’ empowerment tools’, which create a channel to voice opinion and concerns. For example, the www.servizz.gov.mt is an online partnership between Central Government, Local Councils and other Government entities. Through this portal they collaborate to offer a free of charge, one-stop shop that allows online access to numerous public services and were citizens and businesses can submit their complaints, suggestions and ideas.
Various Ministries are increasingly using their websites to undertake public consultations, allowing citizens and businesses to voice their opinion on various policy documents. Amongst others, the Ministry of Finance publishes online the pre-budget consultation, the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs posts on its website consultations related to waste and energy and the Office of the Prime Minister launched online the MEPA reform. However, the current governmental websites are to some degree limited just to offering information, simple web polls and e-mail based public discussions on draft legislation or policy. Less available are interactive e-democracy features, in which citizens and businesses can directly involve in participation and deliberation, such as on-line forums, moderated consultations, e-petition systems, and e-voting.
Annually there are a number of international comparative rankings with relation to e-Government development. The United Nations (UN) e-Government Readiness index is amongst the best known. In the 2008 UN e-Government survey, Malta placed 29th in the list of 191 states assessed. The two primary indicators for this comparative ranking have been the state of e-government readiness and the extent of e-Participation, which is the broadening and deepening of participation by citizens and other stakeholders in government and governance though the use of ICT. As such, it indicates the capacity of the state in encouraging the citizens in promoting deliberative, participatory decision-making in public policy. Malta’s ranking shows that there is space for improvement in e-Participation. It is a complex system both from content perspective (there are many different policy areas, various stakeholders, different levels of policy development) as well as ICT requirements, as it changes the system from one-way communication – government to citizens or citizens to government) to an interactive platform in which citizens and businesses participate actively in the policy making and legislative process, interacting with politicians and officials directly. Another important aspect is that it has to be all inclusive, enabling e-Particpation even for people that lack basic ICT knowledge.
The EU institutions have made participation of the general public in governance a priority. In 2006 the European Parliament (EP) launched the e-Participation Preparatory Action which ran over three years (2006-2008). It clearly took the lead in using on-line tools to improve the legislative process for its citizens and demonstrating how using modern ICT tools and applications can make participation in democratic decision-making easier and in that way improve legislation. A total of 21 projects received funding through this programme in which the European Parliament, national parliaments and local and regional authorities participated actively and state-of-the-art ICT tools were tested to facilitate the writing of legal texts, including translation into different languages, and the drafting of amendments, as well as making the texts easier for non-specialists to find and understand.
The European Commission has taken this initiative to a next level by launching a number of actions aiming at further advancing and supporting e-Participation. The seventh Framework Programme’s (FP7) aims at financing research in this field through a call for proposals entitled “ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling” that closed last April. The Commission aimed at achieving 1) improved empowerment and engagement of individuals, groups and communities in policy making processes as well as increased trust of the citizens through transparency and feedback of their contributions; 2) More efficient collection of feedback to continuously improve governance to improve prediction of impacts of policy measures, with increased contribution and involvement of individuals and communities, and based on intelligent and optimised use of vast public sector knowledge resources; and 3) a strengthened competitive position of European industry in the fields of cooperation platforms, optimisation, simulation and visualisation tools. According to the Malta Council for Science and Technology one of the project applications submitted under this call included also a Maltese organisation. Although the proposal was above threshold, due to low budget allocation it did not manage to receive funding.
Just last month, the Commission has launched under its Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) an e-Participation call for proposals with a deadline of 23rd September 2009. The overall aim of this CIP e-Participation call is to address today's challenges in policy making with ICT based solutions. These include fighting the perceived democratic deficit, which requires a new relationship between politicians and citizens, and which is particularly challenging at EU level; reconnecting citizens with politics and policy-making and sustaining citizens’ involvement; reducing the complexity of decision-making and legislation processes within the EU.
Amongst other, the ICT solutions to be proposed should clearly address a particular EU legislative, policy or decision-making process and contribute to improving such process and to increasing the participation of the general public in it. A significant number of citizens from several EU Member States must be involved as a prerequisite. The ICT solutions should enable a wider group of people to voice their opinions, provide input and get involved in politics. The project proposals must include and mobilise all relevant actors involved, including decision-makers, citizens, civil society groups and the private sector. The Commission would like to see that the experience in the previously mentioned e-Participation Preparatory Action is used an built-upon, taken from testing to implementation level. The proposals should also provide an effective dissemination plan, especially in terms of the impact at European level, including networking and ways to attract a wider participating audience. The EU will fund up to 50% of the eligible costs (personel, subcontracting, indirect costs and specific costs like travel) of the selected projects. A total of 7 million euro is available for this call and, given the average EC contribution of cca. 2-2.5 million euro for a project, we can expect that about 3 projects will be granted co-funding.
The EU leads the way and offers various funding opportunities in the area of e-Participation. Tapping into such funds can assist Malta to further advance its eGov initiatives. It is acknowledged that on-line collaboration and participation can trigger important changes in the way the society will function in the future. The scenario in which very large percentages of population could, if equipped with the right tools, simultaneously voice opinions and views on major and minor societal challenges, and thereby herald the transition to a different form of dynamically participative 'eSociety' is very realistic. Malta is on track, however needs to keep up improvements, to develop the appropriate governance models, process flows, and analytical tools with which to properly understand, interpret, visualise and harness the tremendous potential e-Participation can provide to give citizens and businesses easier access to information and more opportunity to try to influence the decisions that affect their lives.
Published 23 July 2009 in The Malta Business Weekly: