Portugal - The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy “AI Portugal 2030”
The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy “AI Portugal 2030” was adopted in 2019, coordinated by Portuguese initiative to promote digital skills INCoDe.2030. The aim of the Strategy is to promote and mobilize society in general for teaching and research, innovation, and the development of products and services supported by AI technologies.
The general objectives of the strategy to be achieved by 2030:
- Added Economic Growth: Significant contribution to economic growth through the added value brought by AI technologies.
- Scientific Excellence: Enhancement of the the front-line position in fundamental and applied AI research within the Portuguese Academia (universities, polytechnic schools, and research institutions) measured in terms of publication impact, international leadership, and collaborations.
- Human Development: Dramatically increase the qualifications of the labor force, particularly in technological qualifications, while promoting inclusion and awareness at all levels of education.
Through these objectives, the aim is also to significantly increase the number and volume of knowledge-intensive AI companies, fostering considerable Research and Development (R&D) efforts and increased collaboration between academia, companies, and the public sector. The strategy seeks to raise awareness of AI capabilities in businesses and society, ensuring ethical usage of AI that respects democracy, privacy, security, equal rights, transparency, and equity.
The strategy is based on four main interaction processes:
- Portugal's attractiveness to young companies and international production units is high, with room for improvement. These units operate in various industries, requiring specialized AI software and high-tech devices for common export. Collaboration with academia is growing on two axes: joint research capture (joint projects and CoLabs) and the qualification pipeline.
- The development of this ecosystem will motivate increased innovation levels for a large number of companies and organizations, including startups, SMEs, and the government sector, through business networking and collaboration platforms matured with academia. These platforms include on-demand AI pipelines and Digital Innovation Hubs. The expected results include an increase in the number of patents and the growth of businesses based on innovation.
- Research potential in AI and other areas will grow due to a greater share of private investment and the added value induced by the challenges brought by innovative companies. Researchers will also have a vision of the future of AI itself as a fundamental scientific field. The expected results are a greater attraction of research talent (and consequentially professional talent), increased impact of scientific publications, and improved ability to join international research networks of excellence. These scientific outcomes, in turn, will benefit the productive sectors.
- Academia itself, in collaboration with Industry, will increase its capacity and develop different levels of qualification programs in AI and related fields. Other educational institutions working at various levels of education will also be motivated to invest in qualification, requalification, and lifelong learning, fostering personalized qualifications. As a result, Portugal will raise qualification levels and the level of knowledge-intensive employment.
Qualification and specialization are two essential axes for the development of AI-driven innovation and the economy in Portugal. The strategy acknowledges not only the need for improving AI skills but also supporting skills, such as data science.
The emphasis on skills-related objectives:
- Reinforcement of public sector skills and capabilities with respect to AI and data science.
- Increase the overall number of human resources qualified in ICT in general and in AI in particular, across different levels of education, including short cycles for initial training and adult training, as well as graduate education/specialization for adults.
- Enable the development of transferable skills from academia to industry, through effective acquisition by learners in the former, in close cooperation with companies and the public administration.
- Increase the participation of women in technological areas, namely in ICT in general and AI in particular, thereby augmenting the potential of the human capital.
Digital Inclusion and Education for all is an essential component of AI development. The strategy has set goals and outlined the main activities for educations digital transformation and AI implementation in the education process involving national stakeholders (ICT teachers, school headmasters, government officials, academia and interested private sector organizations) and international experts.
The National Artificial Intelligence Strategy “AI Portugal 2030” is financed from the Portuguese State budget, with contribution through EU funding.
The coordination of the Working Group and the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence is the responsibility of INCoDe.2030. The main stakeholders are Research and Development centers, higher education institutions, Ministry of Education, and other relevant organizations, including IEFP, IAPMEI, INA, CCDI, and municipalities. The strategy is monitored by a Committee coordinated by FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia).