Gozo Minister admits €9 million innovation hub only houses four companies

Xtra on TVM | Gozo Innovation Hub fails to reach its aim but Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri says Malta Enterprise allocated €16 million to help existing businesses expand

PN MP Alex Borg (left) and Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri discussing Gozo on Xtra
PN MP Alex Borg (left) and Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri discussing Gozo on Xtra

The Gozo Innovation Hub, a €9 million project which opened in 2019, has had a sluggish start, with Clint Camilleri admitting that it only houses four companies.

“The hub houses two IT companies, a software development company and another company working in financial services,” the Gozo Minister said on TVM's Xtra on Monday.

Nationalist Party MP Alex Borg, who was also on the programme, said the Gozo Innovation Hub was a good project promising new investment and employment security for Gozitans.

“We realised otherwise a few years down the line,” he added.

According to information that had been tabled in parliament, the companies occupy less than a tenth of the available office space in the hub that was once billed as ‘a place where inspiration meets innovation’.

The slow start had been blamed on the pandemic but a large part of the site in the Xewkija industrial estate has remained empty to this day.

The GIH was built on the site of a disused milk processing plant and was intended to provide space for technology and innovation companies wanting to set up shop in Gozo. The project was part-financed by EU funds.

But Camilleri insisted that Malta Enterprise had invested otherwise in Gozo to help existing businesses.

“Over the last three years, Malta Enterprise has helped 1,000 businessmen or entrepreneurs to expand their operations, and allocated no less than €16 million,” Camilleri said.