The ICT sector represents 4.8% of the European economy.
It generates 25% of total business expenditure in Research and Development (R&D), and investments in ICT account for 50% of all European productivity growth.
EU investments in ICTs are due to increase by about 25% under Horizon 2020 compared to FP7. This EU investment will support the whole chain from basic research to innovation that can deliver new business breakthroughs, often on the basis of emerging technologies.
A number of essential EU policy objectives on health, ageing, climate, environment, energy, transport, public sector modernisation, security cannot be achieved without ICT innovation. ICT also invades and transforms bit by bit all aspects of our societies and economies and change the way people live and behave. Multi-disciplinary, application-driven research and innovation actions leveraging ICT to tackle societal challenges are included in the different ‘Societal Challenges’ parts of the programme.
In the last few years Portugal has been gaining a good position worldwide concerning the ICT development index (see also http://www.portugalin.gov.pt/why-portugal-2/tech-innovation-hub/). In fact the recent past has been rich in growing number of entrepreneurial companies and market leaders in Information and Communications Technology.
The actual economic and start-up ecosystem in Portugal has created great potential in the industries of Information and Communications Technology, not forgetting the recent contribution of the Web Summit events in Portugal, which increased, undoubtedly, the Country’s visibility in this sector.
But not only…
Portugal has been the nest for some high tech innovations that changed the world we live today.
Examples are the Multibanco network, one of the more sophisticated banking networks in the world; Via Verde, the first closed system of automatic highway tolls in the world; and the Pre-Paid Mobile Phones, that quickly became the foundation for the mobile revolution we live today. Portugal is also one of the European countries with the highest FTTH penetration, all 46% of households, and has been in the forefront of the 3G and 4G infrastructure investment. In this context, Portugal is not only a market open to innovation, but also the best gateway to ICT companies in the Lusophone markets.
From financial services, to software, hardware and telecommunications, Portuguese companies have achieved a high level of excellence and international recognition with state-of-the-art products and services. Portugal’s multifuncional 24/7 ATM machines make life easier for those accessing financial or public services. It is also the homeland of Via Verde, an innovative electronic system that
allows to pay highway tolls and car parks or even pay gas at petrol stations without having to leave your car. Via Verde processes 500 thousand transactions per day.
New Web Summit`s Home
As a consequence of the vibrant eco-system of ICT startups in Portugal, Lisbon became, in 2016, the new home of the Web Summit, one of the biggest technology conferences in the world held annually since 2009, having moved from Dublin to Lisbon in 2016.
The conference is centered on internet technology and innovation and attendees range from Fortune 500 companies to smaller tech companies. This contains a mix of CEOs and founders of tech startups together with a range of people from across the global technology industry, as well as related industries, political leaders, famous athletes, actors and musicians.
The 2017 edition gathered 60 000 attendees from 160 countries in Lisbon’s Altice Arena. Among the many notable speakers from a large array of sectors, Web Summit was the stage of former Vice-President of the USA Al Gore, former French president François Hollande , Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, Slack co-founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield, Asana co-founder and CEO and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, and Booking.com president and CEO Gillian Tans, to name only a few.
The Web Summit has brought incalculable added value to the Portuguese economy and boosted the growth and diversification of ICT related businesses in the country, and enjoys a strong political commitment from the Portuguese government and the Presidency of the Republic.
In brief, these trends around the ICT ecosystem in Portugal, added to the trends set by the European Union lead to the development and establishment in Portugal of services, all ICT related in its most diverse areas, such as hardware, software, telecoms, ERP, SSC, BPO, security, Compliance, etc., providing services for different sectors such as defence, aviation, health, education, security, banking, railway sector, telecommunications and distribution, amongst others.
Portugal competitive advantages:
- Personalized services with a wide portfolio of skills
- Innovation based on System design
- Integrated business solutions
- High standards of quality and professional values
- Highly qualified skilled labour
- Global recognition
- Customer focus
- Produced in an EU country
- International business culture
Invest in the ICT Cluster – Competitive Advantages
- More than a hundred technology service centers.
- Talent: 5th European country with the highest number of doctorates in science and technology per 1000 inhabitants between the 20 and 29 age group.
- Top universities that strengthened partnerships with international renowned institutions such as MIT, Texas University, Carnegie Mellon and Fraunhofer.
- Excellent incubators: Second home, Canopy, Beta-I, Startup Lisboa, IPN, UPTEC, Startup Braga.
- Venture capital: Portugal Ventures, Caixa capital, Hovione capital.
- 7th position in the Leading Offshore Services Locations in 2014 for technology in Europe, Middle East and Africa, according to Gartner