By Medium SingularityU Portugal
We hear it on the news and we see it happening before our own eyes. Portugal is fast becoming one of the main European players in terms of innovation and technological development, competing head to head with countries such as Germany or France. However, saying this is one thing to and proving it another.
European Commission analysis identified Portugal as a moderate innovator while highlighting the pro-innovation environment and the entrepreneurs as crucial factors to national growth in this field.
Although the country’s performance has improved in recent years, following the financial crisis and bailout program, there remain a lot of areas to improve on.
The Portuguese government has already adopted a new strategy for R&D, which runs until 2030, that involves doubling total investment with two thirds of that amount to be guaranteed by the private sector.
Currently, innovation represents a key priority not just for the government but also for the private sector. In 2017, companies invested almost 1.3 billion euros in R&D, which represents 0.67% of Portuguese GDP. The importance of private sources of investment becomes more than clear when comparing this rate to that funded by the public sector; 0.07%.
The European Commission also states that, even though private investment holds a major role in the sustainability of this investment, the pivotal role is played by the public sector able to generate returns on investment of nearly 20%.
Focusing on the private sector, the investment trend over the last years stems from growth in qualified employment in companies and efforts to accompany the scientific development and technological capacity ongoing globally. Companies perceive innovation as a means of remaining competitive in this growing ecosystem.
Among Portuguese multinationals, SMEs and especially startups, there is already more than one perfect example for this emphasis. The country has already seen the launch of two unicorns — companies valued at over 1 billion dollars — and is nurturing the third.
Leaders and managers are perfectly aware of the importance of learning and implementing new techniques and approaches in their organizations and the need to be one step ahead of the next technological revolution.
Computation, artificial intelligence, sensors and augmented reality are no longer unknown to the Portuguese ecosystem. Instead, these new technologies are seen as the best friends of businesses looking to the future. And this is where Portugal and SingularityU meet.
As an organization focused on helping people understand cutting-edge technologies and how to deploy them as tools to impact positively on the world, SingularityU is bringing all its expertise and knowledge to Portugal for its first ever national event — the SingularityU Portugal Summit Cascais — so together we can all build the future.