Algarve Tech Hub delegation travels to California to promote "the Algarve Dream"
The "Living in Portugal" events were staged for the purpose of providing future foreign residents with information about various practical aspects of life in Portugal and the Algarve. These seminars are organised by Open Media Group, the main Portuguese publishing house for foreign-language publications, together with various partners who offer advice about all matters related to living in Portugal and, in particular, in the Algarve.
Sharing the same vision, the Algarve Evolution Association, the Algarve Promotion Bureau, the Algarve Tourism Board and the University of Algarve joined forces to develop Algarve Tech Hub's globalisation project, with funding from CRESC Algarve 2020 | Portugal 2020. The primary goal of the project is to help companies and other entities involved in the Algarve technology sector's R&I system to successfully expand into international markets, especially the USA and Germany. It is also intended that this set of initiatives will make it possible to assess potential opportunities to strengthen the regional ecosystem and attract qualified resources.
This first prospecting campaign in the USA, which took place from the 7th to the 12th of February 2023, led to a considerable increase in contacts and strategic partnerships for the four members of the delegation who travelled in representation of what is arguably the best European ecosystem in which to live, study and work.
At one of the Living in Portugal sessions, Miguel Fernandes, president of Algarve Evolution, the association that represents the ecosystem's technology companies, presented the ecosystem and answered the many questions put to him by attendees who were naturally curious about our country and the Algarve region in particular. In the words of Miguel Fernandes, "It's amazing how much interest is being aroused in the United States about Portugal and the Algarve. It's like living the American dream, but in reverse: this time, people want to live the Algarve dream. They even want to know not only how to live in our country but also how they can contribute to its economic development. It was very gratifying to feel that, even from so far away, there is a desire to take an active part in our ecosystem."
Algarve Evolution's vice president, Vanessa Nascimento, highlighted the importance of the message of support received from the Portuguese Consul-General in San Francisco, Pedro Pinto, who said that Portugal is a country with a vision for the future and which is clearly demonstrating its commitment to sustainability, the sea, tourism, innovation, competitiveness and digital technology.
This prospecting mission would not have been complete without a visit to the highly-regarded California State University, East Bay. Located in the city of Hayward, which is twinned with Faro, the institution recognises the importance of its Portuguese counterpart as an ally in ensuring comprehensive training for its students. The University of Algarve (UAlg) has been earning an international reputation, as a result of which it has been very successful in attracting international students, interested in the singular range of course options and keen to take up the offer mentioned in the University's motto: Study where life is good. André Botelheiro, the current coordinator of UAlg's Communications Office and Head of the Rector's Office at the University, together with Hugo Barros, Head of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer Division (CRIA), met with the directors of the Californian university, which is located in the San Francisco Bay area, to share practical information about how the two institutions can foster and develop a technological ecosystem. In the case of San Francisco, the most innovative and solid on a global scale and, in the case of the Algarve, increasingly making its mark internationally, as can be seen from the recent installation of the UAlg Tec Campus (business accelerator). At the same time, a collaboration protocol between the two universities was drawn up in readiness for signing on the 21st of February, when UAlg's Rector, Paulo Águas, will be visiting. The protocol will open the door to an effective exchange system between them, as well as to the technological ecosystem trending within the university community.
Following on from the success of this prospecting campaign on the US market, other initiatives are in the pipeline, including a visit by the same delegation to Germany in the near future.
A partnership between the Algarve Evolution Association, the Algarve Promotion Bureau (ATA), the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA) and the University of Algarve (UAlg), aimed at supporting the expansion of regional companies operating in the technology sector. This initiative was funded through a successful application (No. ALG-02-0752-FEDER-072019) to the Sistema de Apoio às Ações Coletivas - Internacionalização (Support System for Group Actions – Globalisation) under the Programa Operacional Regional do Algarve (Algarve Regional Operational Programme).