Seven days, 50 speakers from 10 countries, including experts national and international, conferences, debates, a Startup Competition and also moments of networking are some of the ingredients of the first edition of the Algarve Tech Hub Summit, which will take place between the 28th of March and the 3rd of April, in the municipalities of Loulé and Faro.
This event wants to be a «farol» to create a «more innovative and diversified» Algarve that appears in the itinerary of destinations for remote workers (remote workers), digital nomads, students, companies and investors in the area of technologies.
The climate, the beaches, the airport, the quality of life are factors that can transform the Algarve into one of the Lifestyle Tech Hub of the world's top 3. For this, it is necessary to make the region known and create a welcoming ecosystem for companies and professionals.
«We want to show that the Algarve is an excellent place for families from anywhere in the world to relocate», highlighted Miguel Fernandes, president of Algarve Evolution, an association that brings together Algarve companies in the area of new technologies, at the presentation session of Algarve Tech Hub Summit that took place, this Wednesday, of course, online.
Algarve Evolution is one of the 12 entities that, for the time being, are involved in promoting the Algarve Tech Hub Summit: Algarve Tech Hub, Algarve STP, University of Algarve, Algarve Evolution, NERA, Museum 0, ANJE, Municipality of Faro, Faro 2027, Municipality of Loulé, CCDR Algarve and AMAL.
Although the organization still does not want to lift “the veil too much”, Vanessa Nascimento, also a member of the business association, revealed that, among the speakers, “there will be representatives of European institutions, multinationals, national and international experts. These are names that we will disclose in the coming weeks”.
The Algarve Tech Hub Summit, which wants to have a concept that is a reference «both nationally and internationally», will work in a «hybrid» format, that is, in person and online, to «easily reach any part of the world».
In the case of in-person events, although free, for some of them a prior registration is required, due to the capacity limits.
These events include a Digital Art Conference, Culture and Technology Conversations, Science-to-Business Meetings or the 1st Meeting of the Ibero-American Network of Science and Technology Parks.
In addition to face-to-face interaction, networking business drinks, there will also be a digital platform that will make it possible to get in touch with speakers, with companies, «a bit like the Web Summit. It will be the pillar of communication between all events».
The sessions, in this first edition, will take place in the municipalities of Faro and Loulé but, emphasized Vanessa Nascimento, «this is an event that is not Faro or Loulé. In future editions, we hope to make the event traveling throughout the Algarve».
Miguel Rocha Fernandes points to the objective of the participation of 1000 people, and one of the objectives is also to be able to bring together in this event a considerable part of the digital nomads and remote workers (remote workers) who have already discovered the Algarve, “blinking an eye” to those who don't know the region yet.
«The communication of the event will be from the Algarve to the world. THE website is bilingual and on three of the days there will be full sessions in English», also revealed Vanessa Nascimento.
The holding of this conference led to a joining of efforts by 12 entities – which, according to the businesswoman, others are in the process of joining.
This union is «the way» to «break the ice of international communication», according to Miguel Fernandes.
A vision that is shared by Francisco Serra, president of Algarve STP, who considers that «there are no entities that are, by themselves, powerful to influence these visions» for a region.
Critical mass is needed and, at this point, the University of Algarve has a leading role as a training entity in the area of ICT. Paulo Águas, dean of the Algarve academy, would like there to be «more students entering these areas» and that is a definite objective.
Even so, he recalls, the UAlg, in addition to training from cTeSP to PhD, will soon have the UAlg Tech Campus, «a business accelerator in the area of ICT that will contribute to having a more diversified economy in the region».
According to the Mapping of the technological sector in the Algarve region, a study carried out by Blackbird, there were, in 2018, in the Algarve, about 1100 companies in the ICT area, employing 2500 people.
Hugo Pinto, one of the authors of this document, considers that “the ICT sector is an opportunity for the region. With the crisis of 2008, the Algarve was the region that suffered the most. It recovered quickly, but it is important to think about which molds and if it went away with quality. The evidence we have is that, in the face of a second crisis, such as the pandemic, the region has again not shown resilience”.
The technology sector can be part of the solution.
Watch the Algarve Tech Hub Summit teaser: