A smart city at the forefront of the new digital era

Porto hosts top IT companies and internationally renowned IT R&D centers.

Positioned to serve the European Digital Market
Porto has been consolidating and strengthening its competitive position in the digital economy thanks to the several players and innovators in the ICT sector present in the city.
  • Porto is developing into a top ICT hub with the 3rd fastest-growing tech community in Europe according to Atomico’s State of European Tech Report 2018.
  • The local IT business association, Porto Tech Hub, is comprised of leading ICT companies such as Farfetch, Critical Software, BLIP, Euronext, and Natixis.
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  • Porto offers access to a critical mass of experienced ICT resources and providers, capable of delivering complex and innovative projects. The city houses many top R&D institutes in ICT, such as INESC-TEC, the Institute of Telecommunications, and Fraunhofer Portugal.
  • The companies and R&D units based in Porto are highly competitive at the international level, with a success track-record in fields such as:
    • Online services and E-commerce
    • Robotics and AI
    • Internet and Future Networks
    • Cybersecurity
    • Fintech
    • Health ICT
    • Transport and Mobility ICT
    • IoT and Industry 4.0 ICT
    • Energy ICT
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A Smart City
The city has promoted the development of innovative solutions for urban management.
  • Porto is one of the Top 100 Smart Cities in the world according to IESE Cities in Motion Index 2019.
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  • The city’s urban management strategies have benefited from digital platforms capable of linking the main urban management vectors (mobility, environment, civil protection, economic development, culture, among others), with a strong focus on data access, standardization, total interoperability between vertical applications, development of Open Data models and networking between cities.

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Home to top STEM Talent in the country
Porto’s higher education institutions are recognized internationally for having high standards and quality training in the fields of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  • Porto’s macro-region1  has more than 56,000 STEM students, of which 16,600 enrolled in IT degrees, with an output of 3000 IT graduates per year.
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  • Solid training in computing and information technology hard skills, as well as creativity, teamwork, leadership and entrepreneurship skills.
  • Portugal is the 2nd country with the highest share of engineering graduates in Europe.
1Northern Region plus a part of the Center Region (comprising Aveiro, Coimbra and Viseu districts)
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An ideal test market for new technologies
The Portuguese are known for their high flexibility and adaptability to the experimental use of technology.
  • Many early adopters within Porto’s consumer and business communities.
  • The medium size of the city makes it suitable for the experimental launch and scale up of new technologies and business models.
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  • The city of Porto actively promotes tech literacy, skills and inclusion, setting the conditions to become a "city lab” for tech ideation and experimentation.
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With State-of-the-art ICT Infrastructure
Businesses, researchers and consumers in Porto benefit from access to a highly advanced ICT infrastructure
  • 8 out 10 of investors find Porto’s telecom infrastructure attractive according to a international survey conducted by EY in 2019.
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  • Portugal has the 4th best ultrafast broadband coverage in Europe and the 6th best communications technology in the world according to IMD’s World Digital Competitiveness 2017 and 2018 rankings.
  • Local R&D units and higher education institutions can rely on distributed computing resources for scientific applications, and benefit from open access to institutional repositories of scientific information.

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Available Funding and Incentives
R&D+I projects can benefit from Portugal 2020 financial incentives and are also eligible for tax incentives.
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  • The tax benefits granted by SIFIDE II provide support to R&D activities related to the creation or improvement of a product, process, program or equipment that represents a substantial improvement of existing techniques. It allows to recover up to 82.5% of investments in R&D activities that did not benefit from any State grant.
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