Original article by: The Next Silicon Valley
Lisbon is fast emerging as a key player in the European tech ecosystem. It’s often quoted as one of Europe’s tech cities to watch – even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently signed an agreement with his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa to launch the India-Portugal international startup hub to enhance mutual collaboration between their respective ecosystems. They also signed 11 MoUs for cooperation in areas like science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology and space research.
Also, last year, in my interview for Go4Venture with Stephan Morais of Caixa Capital in Lisbon, he highlighted how Portugal has risen from a tough economic environment and recession just over five years ago. Through investment in engineering education and digital infrastructure, it has reached a position where it’s now creating its own leading innovative technology ecosystem and startups.
He said at the time, “The fact that the secretary of state for entrepreneurship, competitiveness and innovation at that time was Carlos Oliveira, also helped: he previously co-founded MobiComp, which was acquired by Microsoft in July 2008. A few incubators and accelerators also appeared in the ecosystem, like Startup Lisboa, initially headed by the current secretary of state for the economy João Vasconcelos. Therefore government support was important at that stage.”
It’s apt then that digital infrastructure is now a key focus for the city, with NEC announcing that it will provide Lisbon with smart city infrastructure for integrated management of the entire city. The Japanese company has been awarded a contract with the Municipality of Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, to implement a smart city infrastructure project aimed at improving the daily operation and coordination of multiple city services, bolstering security and ultimately improving the quality of life (QoL) for residents. Operation of the infrastructure systems to be developed by NEC is expected to commence by the end of 2017.
NEC will utilize its cloud city operation center (CCOC) to integrate 10 internal systems managed by Lisbon’s city government and 30 external systems managed by several partners of the Municipality of Lisbon, and build a municipal service operation center capable of overseeing the entire city. In addition, NEC will use its artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) technologies for real-time collection and analysis of information from around the city, enabling swift provision of municipal services in response to situations such as illegally parked vehicles, the detection of suspicious objects, and more.
“In an effort to improve the urban environment as our city’s population increases and the number of tourists rises, Lisbon is striving to better the quality of life and strengthen security,” said Jorge Máximo, Lisbon city councilman for sports, information systems and citizen’s relationship. “To accelerate the digital transformation of the city as a whole, we will use NEC’s CCOC for cross-integration of environmental data, data from various external entities, data from numerous municipal departmental applications, and data collected using IoT devices.”
“We are honored to contribute to Lisbon’s smart city infrastructure project,” said Ikeno Masahiro, CEO, NEC Europe. “In addition to CCOC, NEC plans to support the city of Lisbon through the provision of the latest ICT, including AI and IoT technologies.”
With this implementation and the access to data, it’s certainly like to improve the tech innovation ecosystem in Lisbon and Portugal’s standing too. As Stephan Morais said, “The Portuguese brand is well on its way to establishing itself as a global contender for a strong tech cluster, and we want to ensure that the world sees Portugal’s potential.”