The first edition of the Algarve Tech Hub Summit takes place from 28 March to 3 April, in the Algarve, with several entities coming together to discuss the future of the Algarve in terms of technology.

The summit, which was organised in about three months by 12 entities, is hosting several activities, conferences, exhibitions, digital arts and networking events taking place in Faro and Loulé to involve the main players of the region.

Still work to do

The event, which started at 9:00am on 28 March, featured an opening ceremony at 12:00pm at the University of Algarve, Campus da Penha, in Faro, where, in addition to the presentation of the event schedule, a debate began on the need for technological skills for the Algarve.

In this regard, Paulo Águas, head of the University of Algarve, admitted that the region still has a lot to work on. When compared to other regions of the country, the technology levels lag far behind the rest of the regions. Based on this, the Algarve is just ahead of the Azores.

To support his claims, he quoted figures from the United Nations on the HDI (Human Development Index) to analyse Portugal and comparing the country with other nations. In this sense, he said that Portugal ranks 38th in the knowledge dimension.

However, if we compare only the Portuguese regions, Lisbon would be at 21st place on the same level as France, but the Algarve would be at 48th - on the same level as Argentina. Therefore, “we have to work to be a better region”, he concluded.

According to one of the speakers, José Apolinário, president of the Regional Coordination and Development Commission of the Algarve, in 2019 the region reached 778 high and medium technology companies and 1,885 workers, which represent an increase of 49 percent, comparing to 2009.

In addition, there were other keynote speakers at the event, such as Miguel Fernandes, chairman of the Algarve Evolution Association, Francisco Serra, head of the Algarve STP Association (Systems and Technology Partnership), and Joana Mendonça, president of the National Innovation Agency. All in all, they all shared the same common view.

An attractive destination

They believe that the low levels of technology can be solved with the effort of the university, through the training of qualified young people in IT, but also by attracting investments, both from start-ups and large companies that want to set up businesses in this region.

Therefore, they want to put the Algarve on the international technological map and make it a destination of choice for digital nomads, companies and investors. In this regard, they believe that one of the main assets of the region is the great combination of leisure and work that is possible in the Algarve, offering a lifestyle that attracts and inspires many people around the world like no other.

The event will be taking place in Faro and Loulé. For further information on speakers or locations, please check the programme here