Summit has already started, which wants to make the Algarve a more resilient region

The objective is to create companies that can work «from the Algarve to the World»

Photo: Cátia Rodrigues|Sul Informação

The event that wants to put «the Algarve on the map» in the sector of new technologies worldwide has already started. The Algarve Tech Hub Summit started this Monday, March 28th, and will last until April 2nd, to discuss and think about the role of innovation and technology in the region.

In the opening session, which took place at the University of Algarve's Campus da Penha, in Faro, rector Paulo Águas highlighted the importance of creating a «more innovative Algarve», with the aim of «diversifying economic activity».

For this, he argues, «it is necessary to create this ecosystem in this area of ​​information and communication».

The Algarve Tech Hub Summit saw the light of day in 2022, but this project took its first steps eight years ago.

Miguel Rocha Fernandes, president of Algarve Evolution, an association that brings together companies in the area of ​​new technologies, recalled that it all started, after the 2012 crisis, with «the desire to understand how to make the region more resilient. At that time, I myself considered leaving Portugal».

Instead of doing so, Miguel Rocha Fernandes, and other entrepreneurs, sought to find solutions.

«We live in a paradise and, therefore, we thought about how we could attract entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, to create more value in the region and new companies», he said.

This path is still being followed, with the aim of «creating new companies and startups that work from the Algarve to the world».

To achieve this objective, argues the entrepreneur, a joint strategy is needed that involves the various players of the region and that's exactly what happened to make it possible to launch this Algarve Tech Hub Summit.

«This event brought together 12 entities and we managed to organize this event in two or three months. We proved that it is possible to do something, in an integrated way, that promotes the Algarve from here to the world. If, with few resources, we did this, ten years from now, with the region working together, we will be doing even better», believes Miguel Rocha Fernandes.

This joining of efforts of the various entities that organize the Algarve Tech Hub Summit is also highlighted by Francisco Serra, president of Algarve STP.

«It was possible to integrate the various initiatives of these entities, concentrating them at this time. With that, we achieved a reputation for the region and a final result that would otherwise be unattainable».

According to the official, Summit «already has more than 1000 registrations, that is, people who signed up to participate. In addition, there are 150 speakers, speakers and moderators and we have managed to publish 50 press articles. For this, it was essential to work together. We will continue, gain more momentum and reach a greater dimension».

This event is proof that «in the Algarve, the Innovation Ecosystem in the digital area is changing», praises José Apolinário, president of CCDR do Algarve.

Apolinário recalls that, «in 2009, we had 645 high and medium technology companies with 1265 jobs», but «in 2019, we reached 778 companies and 1885 workers, which represents an increase of 49%.

In this period, «the regional actors multiplied with the participation in national and international networks: associated laboratories, collaborative laboratories, competence centers, Digital Innovation Hubs, in alignment with the domains of the Regional Smart Specialization Strategy».

Now, with the support of European Funds, José Apolinário adds that the goal is that, by 2027, «employment in the digital sector in the Algarve will grow by at least 50 percent more».

And there is “room for growth in the important innovation sector”. Joana Mendonça, president of the National Innovation Agency, who was present at the opening session of the Algarve Tech Hub Summit, says this.

Joana Mendonça considers that what she saw, in the first hours of the event, «shows potential for growth. I think that a part of the ecosystem has been created that is critical to innovation and that was born in a triple helix model, that is: public entities, in the area of ​​knowledge and companies».

The Algarve Tech Hub Summit, of which the Sul Informação is a media partner, runs until Saturday, in the municipalities of Faro and Loulé, but also online.

Consult here the complete schedule.



Photos: Cátia Rodrigues |Sul Informação