Call for one start-up active in sustainable urban mobility in EIT RIS countries to conduct a residency project at the Valletta Design ClusterEIT Urban Mobility Hub Malta LogosThe Valletta Design Cluster as part of the EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Malta is offering one start-up in one of the EIT RIS countries the opportunity to benefit from a residency of up to two months at the Valletta Design Cluster (‘VDC’). The residency will allow the selected start-up access to a working space and a Makerspace within the VDC, the opportunity to explore the local urban mobility ecosystem in Malta and interact with the EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Malta network to expand its business and work on their projects related to sustainable urban mobility.


The Maltese Transport context

Malta is a country with an area of just 316km2 and consists of three main islands, two of which are inhabited by a population of 516,000 (National Statistics Office, 2021). Since the early 90s, Malta has experienced rapid growth in motorization and a decline in public transport use and in active mobility (walking and cycling).

Domestic transport is predominately on land. Private car ownership and usage is high in Malta, although the average journey length is only 5.5km. Results from the latest National Household Travel Survey in 2021 revealed that 84% of trips in Malta are made by using private cars. This is an increasing value from 59.4% in 2010, with public transport only servicing 5.74 % of trips at the time of the study. Survey respondents clarified that the main reason for not using public transport is poor bus service punctuality and reliability. In October 2022, Malta’s bus service became free of charge for all Maltese residents, which has led to a significant increase in bus trips. However, punctuality and reliability remain a challenge. Active mobility only accounts for 8.2% of all trips (7.7% by walking and 0.5% by cycling). Pollution, lack of road safety and poor quality of infrastructure are the main issues identified for limiting the shift to walking & cycling. Being an island country, Malta is also connected by sea. Ferries from/to the sister islands of Gozo and Comino are available from two main points on the island of Malta, and other ferries are available to connect the capital city Valletta to the towns of Sliema and Bormla within the main harbour area.

Several initiatives are in play to change the current transportation landscape with objectives such as introducing 6,500 electric cars on the road and reducing off-peak deliveries.


Target Participants

The call will select a maximum of 2 persons working for one start-up. To be eligible for the call, the start-up must be established at least 2 years before the submission of the application in one of the following countries or regions

  • Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Türkiye or Ukraine (EIT RIS Countries except Malta), or
  • Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Réunion, Martinique, Mayotte, Saint-Martin (France); the Azores, Madeira (Portugal); the Canary Islands (Spain) (EIT RIS Outermost Regions)

and must work in the field of sustainable urban mobility.

We are looking for a start-up team with business ideas that can help solve mobility-related problems.  This may cover a wide range of topics including but not limited to traffic congestion, introduce innovative approaches for faster commuting, accelerate the transition to low- or zero-emission forms of transport.


Objectives and Expected Outcomes

The opportunity is offered to support the start-up in the development of its business and network by facilitating its connection to the Maltese sustainable urban mobility ecosystem. The residency will also aim at introducing elements of novelty in the above-mentioned ecosystem, which will contribute to its advancement. Applicants are requested to submit a residency proposal which will present their objectives for the residency with a focus on the local context.  The proposal should focus on a clear, scalable business idea in the field of sustainable urban mobility which can be adapted to the Maltese context

Applicants are expected to provide a clear action plan featuring at least one specific milestone and a timeline to present how they see their project develop before, during and after their stay in Malta.

Throughout their residency, the selected start-up will be asked to:

  1. At the end of the residency, deliver one presentation to the public on its work and the milestone/s they have achieved during their residency to present the results of the research carried out while on the residency in Malta;
  2. Meet with at least 5 stakeholders of their choice who can support the expansion of its business during the stay. The EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Malta can help identify relevant stakeholders;
  3. Prepare a final report of a maximum of 1,500 words evaluating their experience during the residency including describing the work done, the stakeholders met and the expected future developments after the end of the project.

The start-up is also encouraged to engage with participants in one of the events organised or suggested by the EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Malta during the stay to introduce their organisation and the residency project, and to network with the stakeholders of the Hub.


What We Provide

  • A grant of 900.00 EUR gross
  • Free accommodation at the Valletta Design Cluster during your stay (one or two private bedrooms within a shared townhouse)
  • A workspace within the Valletta Design Cluster
  • Support to familiarise yourselves with the local context in Valletta and Malta
  • Assistance in establishing connections with key stakeholders
  • Promotion and Visibility to your start-up
  • Mentoring to scale up and develop your business, in collaboration with the Malta Business Bureau
  • The results of the research conducted by the start-up will be published on the VCA website (VDC section).


What we do not provide

  • Local transport
  • Insurance: travel, personal, health and personal equipment insurance is the applicant’s responsibility
  • Payments for documents required for travelling to and staying in Malta for the duration of the residency
  • Anything which is not specified in the WHAT WE PROVIDE section here above



The Valletta Design Cluster is a community space for cultural and creative practice open in Valletta, Malta. The space is administered by the Valletta Cultural Agency and has been one of the partners in the EIT Urban Mobility RIS Hub Malta since 2020. It offers a wide range of facilities including a Makerspace, a Coworking Space, a Foodspace, a Roof Garden and Creative Studios. Besides the physical space, the Valletta Design Cluster also facilitates interactions among its members, who form a network of practitioners active in different sectors including arts and culture, food, environment and placemaking, social entrepreneurship and impact, making and design. Find more information about the VDC here.



A minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 8 weeks between August and end of November 2023.


How to Apply

Interested parties may apply by submitting a full proposal application. The application must be filled using the template provided here and sent to by no later than Friday 23rd June 2023, 5pm. Applicants must attach the following documents to the email they send to submit their application:

  • Their filled application form
  • Legible scan of an identification document of the legal representative of the start-up
  • Legible scan of the certification of enrolment or equivalent document proving the registration of the start-up in one of the RIS countries at least two years before the submission of the application
  • Statute or equivalent official document showing the remit of the start-up, its objectives, mission and vision

In the case of large files, the required documents may also be submitted using online file transfer facilities (e.g. WeTransfer). Missing documents or an incomplete application will result in the application being discarded.


Selection Process

A board of evaluators will evaluate the received applications according to the following criteria:

  • Plan: What are the activities you would like to carry out while in Malta, and what are the results you wish to achieve? Is the plan realistic? Please support your answer with data which may help us understand the relevance of this experience in the growth of your business and of the local urban mobility ecosystem.
  • Outreach, Experimentation and Creativity: is the proposed project reaching out to local communities of residents and/or professionals in ways that can produce tangible results for the development of the start-up? Does the project include the possibility of working with local actors within the sustainable urban mobility ecosystem?
  • Innovation: does the proposal involve any innovative elements that the applicant start-up is exploring? Please describe them and their relevance to support research and innovation in sustainable urban mobility in Malta.
  • Relevance to the Call for Proposals: is the applicant planning to engage with the local community in a way that will lead to the delivery of at least the minimum number of outcomes requested in the call?

Deadline for submission is the 23rd June 2023.

The results will be communicated by email to the applicants by 15th July 2023. The selected applicant will be required to sign a contract with the Valletta Cultural Agency to formalise the terms and conditions related to the residency.  Applicants ranking second and third may be contacted by the VCA and offered a residency at the Valletta Design Cluster on reduced terms.


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EIT Urban Mobility is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). EIT Urban Mobility has been working since 2019 to encourage positive change in the way people move around cities in order to make urban space more liveable. EIT Urban Mobility aims to become the largest European initiative transforming urban mobility by EIT co-funding projects and initiatives for up to € 400 million between 2020-2026. Learn more on .


Useful Resources

National Transport Malta Strategy 2050 & Malta Transport Master Plan 2025

Malta Economic Vision 2031

Malta Low Carbon Development Strategy

Road Safety Strategy

SUMP for the Valletta Region 2022

Slow Streets Project