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Cisco signs deal with Portugal for digitisation

Portugal and Cisco signed a memorandum of understanding to accelerate digitization. Over the next two years, Portugal and Cisco will cooperate to capture opportunities presented by a digital economy, with the aim to positively impact economic growth, education, innovation, and competitiveness as well as social inclusion and quality of life.

The MoU will focus on several key points that are part of Portugal's National Reforms Program. These include support for entrepreneurship and business innovation, with a specific focus on start-ups; increasing and improving digital skills; the application of innovative digital technologies across public sector services, education, Industry 4.0, mobility; and cybersecurity.

Supporting tech start-ups is one of the main pillars of the government's digital strategy. Cisco will continue the collaboration with Startup Portugal in priority areas such as security, mobility, and Internet of Things. Cisco also intends to evaluate support for other start-up programs and provide local start-ups with access to its European Venture Capital initiative and Incubation program to help them accelerate their business and expand internationally.

The  Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad) program to provide training for digital skills, with courses focused on next-generation networks and cybersecurity.

Connected government and public services: digital transformation of the Public sector is a priority for Portugal's government. The partnership includes working with several ministries, with a focus on public administration modernization, health, justice, and defense.  The aim is to create highly secure platforms that will help enable extensive government collaboration and digital services, thus increasing efficiency and flexibility and reducing costs.

Portugal's government has a four-year Industry 4.0 plan to capture the benefits of digitization in strategic sectors. Cisco will support this plan by focusing on tourism, transportation, cities, and regions. The goal of this pillar is to improve services to citizens, visitors, and businesses, as well as to help competitiveness and operational efficiency. Cisco also intends to work with Turismo de Portugal to take advantage of Wi-Fi with analytics to improve experience and services and attract more visitors to the historical centers in Portugal. Cooperation in specific EU programs such as WiFi4EU to improve public wireless services is also planned.

António Costa (above), Prime Minister of Portugal: "By accelerating the national digitization 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."