Portugal looks to its marine heritage to create an oceantech leader

Portugal is tapping oceantech disruption to create new value out of its blue economy, with strong government push

Portugal aims to become a leader in the emerging oceantech, or bluetech, sector, seeking to sustainably exploit the economic opportunities from digitalizing traditional industries and introducing new maritime technologies. Fisheries, aquaculture, shipping and logistics are ripe for disruption, while new industries, such as offshore energy, biotechnology and food innovation using seaweed, are being created. 

Helena Vieira, Director-General for Maritime Policy at the Portuguese Ministry of the Sea, told the recent Web Summit 2020 that there are already bluetech acceleration programs running in Portugal that are attracting a lot of talent. "Many innovative startups from around the world are testing their products and pilots here in Portugal. We are now in the position where we can start offering them an oceantech ecosystem built the same way we’ve built an ecosystem for information technologies.”  

Ruben Eiras, Coordinator for Blue Economy Entrepreneurship, Investment and Innovation at Forum Oceano is confident that Portugal will be "Europe’s Blue Silicon Valley.” 

“Against my expectations, [2020] was the year that I saw new blue economy

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