Global technology company Cisco and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to accelerate digitisation in Portugal.
The collaboration to accelerate digitisation in Portugal will focus on innovative tech start-ups, digital infrastructures and skills, and cybersecurity, and was signed by Costa, Cisco Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins, and general manager of Cisco Portugal Sofia Tenreiro.
The collaboration will take place over the next two years, and accelerate digitisation in Portugal by supporting the country’s national reforms programme, which contains several key priorities for boosting economic growth, education, competitiveness and social inclusion through digitisation. These include:
- Funding entrepreneurship and business innovation;
- Increasing and improving digital skills;
- Applying innovative digital technologies across public sector services; and
- Strengthening cybersecurity.
The MoU also outlines some of the aims and objectives of the collaboration, including boosting the annual number of students in the Cisco Networking Academy digital skills programme from 3,000 to 7,000 by 2020, and designing smart campuses to optimise study environments.
What will the collaboration involve?
The Portuguese government has launched a four year plan for digitisation in strategic sectors, and Cisco will support the plan by focusing on four sectors:
- Cities; and
The goal of this pillar of the project is to improve services for citizens and tourists across sectors, and offering high quality wireless internet for the use of the public across the country.
The two parties will also make efforts to secure critical infrastructures and online services, as well as improving the administration of public services in Portugal through digital tools, including health, justice and defence departments.
What did the two parties say about the collaboration?
For Costa, the project is a key opportunity to strengthen Portugal’s economy and help the country to grow, and Cisco’s participation in the project is key to this. He said: “By accelerating the national digitisation agenda, Portugal can increase GDP growth, create jobs, and improve digital inclusion for our people and businesses. We strongly welcome Cisco’s contribution to create a sustainable innovation ecosystem that will enable our country to better compete in the global digital economy.”
Tenreiro emphasised that, while the project will take place over just two years, both parties are prioritising their long-term goals, and setting the groundwork for digitisation in years to come.
She explained: “Cisco Portugal values the opportunity this agreement represents and is fully committed to work with the innovation ecosystem, including public and private organizations, schools, and academia, to accelerate the national digitisation efforts … We want to play a significant role in the growth and competitiveness of the country.”