University of Malta Hosts Successful Research Expo With ADAPT Centre’s LT Bridge Project Team

16 June 2023

The LT Bridge project recently took part in a research exposition at the University of Malta that included workshops, talks, and networking aimed at fostering knowledge sharing through staff exchanges and collaboration.  LT-Bridge is an EU funded project that aims to integrate the University of Malta’s Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology and Department of AI into the European research community, in the area of AI-based language technologies. Language-centric artificial intelligence (i.e. natural language processing) offers new opportunities for digital and technology-enabled communication in all European languages. However, tools and resources in language technologies for Maltese are scarce. LT-Bridge brings together the expertise from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and the Dublin City University’s ADAPT Centre (DCU) to create a European-level Centre of Excellence in this field in Malta.

The event was a first for the University of Malta and featured a diverse range of talks, covering topics such as autonomous taxiing for aircraft, restoration of frescoes in Malta’s historical palaces, and cosmology on the moon. ADAPT contributors included Professor Andy Way, Dr John Judge, and Conor McNally.   

Following the Expo, Professor Way led a morning session as part of the scientific training pillar of the LT Bridge project. His session focused on large language models and translation, sparking a thought-provoking discussion among participants regarding the concerns of human translators and machine translation developers. The session attracted a sizable audience of postgraduate students and staff.  The interactive nature of the session allowed University of Malta students to benefit from Andy’s extensive expertise in the field and delve into specific research ideas and directions.

Following Professor Way’s session, further meetings were held with research development colleagues from the University of Malta. One of these meetings was with Alexandra Attard, Deputy Director for Externally Funded Projects, whose team had previously visited ADAPT at DCU to learn about our approach to pre and post-award support for NENC projects. Alexandra expressed positive feedback from their visit and was keen to explore aspects of running the research development team in collaboration with our team. Another meeting was with the tech transfer team from the University of Malta, who recently visited ADAPT for a knowledge-sharing visit.

Later that evening, Andy and the team had the opportunity to meet with Professor Simon Fabri, the Pro Rector for Research and Innovation, and Dr Christian Bonnici, the Director of Research Support Services. The networking event enabled the teams to explore the potential for closer cooperation between ADAPT at DCU and the University of Malta, leveraging the LT Bridge project and identifying common ground to foster stronger collaboration.

On Friday, in collaboration with the tech transfer office at the University of Malta, Conor conducted an innovation workshop for the LT Bridge project. This workshop, based on Conor’s proven start-up commercialisation expertise, proved to be immensely popular. Due to high demand, three parallel sessions were conducted for different start-up teams. Conor delivered plenary talks, and then the groups split into separate rooms to work on the specific details of their projects, with Conor providing guidance and answering questions as he rotated between the groups. The tech transfer office at the University of Malta provided invaluable support throughout the workshop.

Feedback from the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, with one team even announcing their intention to work through the weekend to submit an application to the Malta Digital Innovation Authority for funding to advance their idea. The deadline for submission was the following Monday, and we are pleased to announce that they successfully submitted their application in time and have since progressed to the second round of the process.

The LT Bridge project continues to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation, driving closer ties between ADAPT at DCU and the University of Malta. The fruitful visit highlighted the potential for further cooperation and the collective efforts in advancing research and innovation.

For more information about the LT Bridge project and its impact, see