National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence

The National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence, published in 2019, aims to promote and mobilize the wider society for education and research, innovation and development of AI-supported products and services. It is aligned with the EU’s Action Plan. A plan that promotes the use of AI technologies to help solve global challenges, such as health, climate, agriculture and cybersecurity.

This strategy revolves around four main interaction processes:

Portugal’s appeal to young companies and international production units is high and capable of improvement. Such units work in different sectors, but have a need for specialized AI software development and high-tech devices for common export. Collaboration with academia is increasing on two fronts: joint research capture (joint projects and CoLabs) and skill pipeline.

Further development of this ecosystem will drive increased levels of innovation for a large number of companies and organizations, including startups, SMEs and the government sector through business networking, benefiting them on collaboration platforms matured with academia. These include on-demand AI pipelines and Digital Innovation Hubs. Expected results include an increased number of patents and the proliferation of innovation-based businesses.

AI research potential and other fields is set to grow due to the larger share of private investment and the added value induced by the challenges brought by innovative companies. Additionally, researchers will gain insight into the future of AI itself as a key scientific field. Expected results include greater attractiveness of research talent (and consequently professional talent), greater impact of scientific publications and greater capacity to join international research networks of excellence. These scientific results, in turn, will flow back to the productive sectors.

Academia will, on its own or in collaboration with Industry, increase its capacity and develop different levels of qualification programs in AI and related areas. Other educational institutions working at different levels of schooling will also be motivated to invest in qualification, requalification and lifelong learning, fostering personalized qualifications. As a result, Portugal will increase qualification levels and the level of knowledge-intensive employment.

In the coming decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies need to be readily available to promote process efficiency and service quality in SMEs, public services and to all citizens. That requires qualifying the workforce and ensuring that Portugal will be at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence Training for everyone.


Explore the various applications of Artificial Intelligence in the economy and society, as well as their application in areas such as sustainable energy networks, cities, forests and oceans, mobility, autonomous driving or health.

Its increasing implementation will also require a commitment to strengthening the leading position of the Portuguese Academy in AI research and in the qualification of the workforce facing a new world of opportunities and new jobs.

7 Action Pillars of the National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence

Providing the necessary foundation for AI education, disseminating STEM knowledge, and promoting early acquisition of coding skills.

Increasing the overall number of qualified human resources in ICT in general and AI in particular at all educational levels, allowing the know-how to flow from academia to the industry, increasing Portugal’s allure to foreign talent, including students, researchers and experienced professionals, and promoting the experimentation of new AI ideas and concepts in Portugal.

Creating a strong research-oriented ecosystem of businesses, academia, public sector and society, including start-ups, scale-ups and established companies, and identifying strategic research avenues that can promote the long-term future of AI.

Promoting new and innovative solutions for administrative simplification, strengthening public sector skills and capabilities in AI and data science, and continuing to foster collaboration between public sector entities, businesses, and research units regarding the use of AI.

By asserting Portugal’s international leadership in areas that impact the Portuguese economy, through joint actions between business and academia, towards innovation, cutting-edge research, and involvement in international networks.

By increasing the impact of Portuguese AI research, the number of AI ERC grants brought to Portugal by candidates working in Portugal, and by bringing new technologies to industry and creating new industries.

Actively contributing to the development of areas such as Advanced Computing and Quantum Materials and Quantum Computing and benefiting from these innovation networks.

Addressing the challenges brought by AI, particularly in terms of privacy protection, misuse of advanced AI techniques, and liability clearance in conflicts with decisions made with the involvement of AI.

Critical Success Factors

  • Develop AI skills for everyone: promote education, lifelong learning and talent appeal;
  • Deliver better public services to citizens and businesses, increasingly evidence-based, using the vast amount of data that may be available;
  • Developing an AI service economy will allow a market for data and AI models to be created;
  • Foster Portugal as a living laboratory for experimentation of new developments: cities, energy, biodiversity, green and blue economy, autonomous driving, cybersecurity, health and industry;
  • Ensure AI market niches through the main specialized services in Portugal: NLP, real-time AI, AI for software development, "on Edge-Computing" AI;
  • Contribute to new developments and knowledge through research and innovation in AI;
  • Increase in collaborative projects between academia and the public and private business sectors in AI;
  • Increase in the number of patents and proliferation of innovation-based businesses based on AI;
  • Increased attraction of talent specialized in AI;
  • Increase in scientific publications on AI matters in international research networks of excellence;
  • Increased skill levels and jobs in the field of AI.

AI Portugal 2030 Document


Coordinating entity:

Logótipo INCoDe.2030

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