NEST - Tourism Innovation Center is a non-profit private association founded in February 2019, which has become part of the National Network of Digital Innovation Hub, developing links with vertical clusters and reserve technology interface centers.
These networks include centers of digital skills, with the aim of promoting the adoption of technology by companies, especially SMEs.
Each Member State can propose a maximum of eight poles of digital innovation - Portugal has recognized, among them, INNOVTOURISM, unique in Europe for being totally focused on tourism, so that it can generate added value for access to the European Network, all European funds, through a specific competition to be opened by the European Commission in the Digital Europe Program.
According to the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, “this is an acknowledgment of the hard work that we have been doing as part of one of the measures in the Government's program, related to the international positioning of NEST - Tourism Innovation Center as an engine anticipation, experimentation and dissemination of trends and solutions and digital empowerment throughout the value chain”.
Pursuing a mission to stimulate networks and contribute to the transfer of knowledge, NEST aims to allow an immediate response within the tourism ecosystem - which already has 64 partners, including startups, SMEs and companies in the sector - through the identification of need and the direct challenge for service development.
NEST promotes startup acceleration, in conjunction with a network of incubators, as well as the identification of innovation trends in tourism, also supporting the international promotion of innovation carried out in Portugal. It has been a key element in the sector for the dissemination of knowledge that combines digital and tourism, in exposing startups with solutions on tourism and in innovation through pilot projects with technological entities and startups.