Lisbon – 29th March, 2021 – The registration period for Acelera@Tech in Portugal will close in less than ten days but there is still time to apply. This is an international acceleration program, organized by “Acredita Portugal” with the support of “Turismo de Portugal” under the FIT Program, which aims to attract to the country the best innovation related to tourism and thus contribute to increased competitiveness and innovation in the sector. The winning projects will be awarded more than 20,000€ in financial prizes.
The Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, who was present at the opening session of Acelera@Tech, shared the Government’s perspective, stating that “our goal is to position Portugal as a leader in Tourism on a global scale, a simple ambition that requires the combination of several resources and focus. Accordingly, what we have been doing through NEST – Tourism Innovation Centre is creating a hub that leverages technical skills, resources, training and innovation in a single platform to support companies in this sector to be more competitive. The intervention of “Turismo de Portugal” is also done through the partnership developed with players responsible for organizing acceleration programs – such as “Acredita Portugal”, universities and investors, which make it possible to identify good ideas and create a dynamic ecosystem in the tourism sector”.
Fernando Fraga, Director of Innovation at “Acredita Portugal”, explains the relevance of the program as “a competitive and innovative Tourism is essential to maintain Portugal’s position as a world player in the sector and to overcome the current challenges. Programs such as Aceler@Tech allow us to stimulate innovation in our startups, identify what is best done in this context and promote its implementation in Portuguese companies. An initiative with this dimension complements the effort being made by “Turismo de Portugal” in creating improvements that make national tourism a reference on a global scale”.
Gaia is the host city of the initiative, and the municipality has already demonstrated its willingness to host the best international projects locally, through the incubators promoted in partnership with “Acredita Portugal”.
The program aims to create and develop new businesses based on innovative and challenging ideas in the Tourism sector; support the development of projects that contribute to economic, social, and environmental sustainability by adding challenging technologies and methods that help companies move from traditional operating models to advanced technologies and more efficient processes; help startups acquire specialized knowledge, networks, and support to transform and integrate their idea into the Portuguese and European digital ecosystems; highlight solutions for the promotion and development of local products and resources with origins in rural areas; present innovative solutions in order to recover the Tourism sector.
All projects registered in the initiative will go through an initial acceleration phase. The 20 best projects that successfully complete the first phase will be selected to move on to a second acceleration phase where they will meet several mentors with experience in business development and/or tourism, national investors, leading Portuguese companies in the sector with whom they can develop pilots and Portuguese startups linked to tourism with whom they can explore synergies. At the same time, all projects will be empowered with key skills that will support their development in Portugal.
Over the next few weeks, the initiative also includes several webinars promoting the opportunity that Portugal represents for tourism-related projects and the reasons why an international project in this area should be launched in this country: Investment (17th February), Tourism and Wine (3rd March), Hospitality and Tourism Support Services (10th March), Diversity of Regions (17th March), Health and Nature Tourism (24th March) and Support, financing and entry into Europe (31st March).