Action Plan for the Digital Transition in Portugal

In the context of the current fourth industrial revolution (the digital revolution), an Action Plan for the Digital Transition was recently approved in Portugal, regarded as an essential instrument for the country’s development (Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 30/2020).

As an enabling instrument for the approval of specific measures, this Plan aims to provide greater orientation of the State towards the citizen, to strengthen the country’s economic competitiveness and to create a favorable environment for innovation and knowledge.

Within this framework, three pillars have been defined and some specific measures have been approved:

Pillar I: Qualification and digital inclusion

·    Digitalization Program for Schools

·    Intensive and specialized digital training program for 3,000 professionals

·    Digital Inclusion Program for 1 million adults

·    Social tariff for access to Internet services

Pillar II: Digital transformation of the business sector

·    E-Residency Program

·    Promotion of Technological Free Zones, through the creation of special regulatory regimes

·    Digital Qualification Program for SMEs in the Countryside

·    Creation of Digital Innovation Hubs for Entrepreneurship

Pillar III: Digitalization of the Stat

·    Digitalization of the 25 public services most used by citizens and businesses

·    Increase in the range and translation of digital services in the ePortugal channel

·     Cloud Strategy for the Public Administration

·    Simplification of the contracting of information and communication technology services by the Public Administration

Considered as catalyzers of the digital transformation, special focus was also given to disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence systems, 5G technology, cloud and proximity computing and the Internet of things.

With regard to these technologies, and in accordance with the II Pillar, it was published a regime that has established the general principles for the creation and regulation of Technological Free Zones (FTZs). This regime aims to facilitate the testing of innovative technologies, services, products and processes in physical spaces, in order to promote a culture of experimentation in Portugal (Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 29/2020).

Finally, in order to ensure the management and operationalization of this strategy for the digital development, the “Digital Portugal” was created, which is a technical structure for monitoring and implementing the measures approved under the Digital Transition Action Plan (Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 31/2020). It aims to support the coordination of the Plan, its articulation with other programs and the communication of this Plan at national and international level.