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Porto Tech Hub wants to transform the city into a place of excellence for tech companies

Porto Tech Hub wants to transform the city into a place of excellence for tech companies
O Jornal Económico · 24 Mar 2022

The Porto Tech Hub, a business association that aims to promote and develop Porto as a global technology centre, at the beginning of 2022 exceeded the goal of having more than 30 associated companies - where reference organisations such as Farfetch and Critical Software are integrated.

"Reaching the highest number of technology partners since its creation, the association founded in 2015 now sees its mission strengthened to continue to develop and expand the city's technological scene and capture the most qualified talent, promoting their employability with partner companies."

In an interview with JE, the director of the association, Luís Miguel Silva, explained that the growth in the number of members implies new challenges for the organisation and growing flexibility in its initiatives. One of the most important is the partnership with the Higher Institute of Engineering of Porto (ISEP) - an entity which the association has joined for the creation of a nine-month post-graduate course in Computer Science.

In addition to proving the topicality of the discipline, the post-graduate course also guarantees a nine-month internship in one of the associated companies. And there's no sign of unemployment at the end of it. The sixth edition of the course is currently being prepared. In the pipeline is also the possibility of launching a new course, this time in the area of the so-called testers - specialists in testing software before it is launched on the market - an indispensable component for the proper functioning of the entire value chain.

Besides supporting companies, the association's work is also reflected in the actions carried out over the years. "One of the most important is Switch, in partnership with the Higher Institute of Engineering of Porto (ISEP) - an entity the association joined to create this nine-month post-graduate course in Computer Science. The programme is closely linked to the business community, which allows an exchange between the trainees and the world of work, which, for Luís Miguel Silva, has proved to be one of the association's most virtuous projects.

Several times, SWitCH students visit associated companies, for a whole day of presentations and online presentations, with the aim of deepening their knowledge of the business world, "so that they can then choose where they will intern for nine months, and vice-versa".

Another of the fundamental aspects of the association's activity is the active sustaining of a network of contacts, whose whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. As Luís Miguel Silva pointed out, it is this involvement that allows Porto to be one of the most sought after cities for IT, both from the point of view of consolidated companies and start-ups.

This year and once again (for the seventh time) the association will also organise the Porto Tech Hub Conference, which will take place in October (still without a set date) and is an already traditional forum for the entire community to meet. One of its motivations is precisely to contribute to retaining talent in the city, perhaps the most difficult problem for companies to manage - as IT works by definition (forgive the exaggeration) in the place where its technicians decide to be, wherever that may be.

It should be noted that the 30 associates barrier was overcome with the entry of Bosch and SaltPay (the 31st). Well known as a global supplier of technology and services, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0 and connected mobility.

SaltPay is a payment software and services company that provides local businesses with the technology they need to automate and grow. It is currently in 15 countries and has more than 1,300 employees worldwide.