The University of Malta has partnered with the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) to establish a €300,000 ($351,000) blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) scholarship fund, Times of Malta reported August 29.

The new scholarship is targeted at students studying information and communications technology (ICT), law, finance, and engineering, and will be split over three years. Starting this coming academic year, students can apply the scholarship to completing their Master’s and PhD research dissertations in blockchain and DLT.

The move comes amidst governmental efforts to attract blockchain companies to Malta by ensuring sufficient staffing capacity locally. Silvio Schembri, the digital economy parliamentary secretary, said that he would like to see Maltese graduates holding important posts in the field:

“These companies need technical resources both to build and to operate by use of this technology, as well as experts in financial services, law, and managerial roles.”

University rector Alfred Vella said that the university is looking to integrate units relating to DLT, blockchain, digital currencies, artificial intelligence (AI), fintech, and regtech into degree and Master’s programs in law, finance, ICT, and other fields. MITA executive chairman Tony Sultana noted that the agency has been pursuing similar initiatives at other educational institutions.

Malta is known for its crypto-friendly environment and its public efforts to become the “blockchain island.” Last month, the Parliament of Malta passed three bills into law that establish a regulatory framework for blockchain technology, making the island nation a pioneer in providing a solid legal framework for blockchain companies.

In May, the Transport Minister of Malta announced a partnership with U.K. middleware blockchain startup Omnitude to improve the Maltese Public Transport Service by deploying distributed ledger technology.

Additionally, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has proposed guidelines on blockchain and cryptocurrency applications in the gaming industry, aiming to apply standards to games that use cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.