A new cycle of development is underway in Oeiras. The Oeiras Valley project seeks to create a unique ecosystem for business, science and technology. In this interview, the Mayor of Oeiras, Isaltino Morais, explains the main aspects and potential that the municipality has to offer and says he wants to convert Oeiras into the Portuguese Silicon Valley.
What is going to change about Oeiras when the Oeiras Valley project launches?
Most of all, our ambition, our focus and our vision of how we want to position the municipality and transform Portuguese society. For years now, Oeiras has served as home to multinational technology firms and prestigious research and development laboratories. We have a range of business parks equipped with the best facilities to attract investment. At the same time, we have been chosen as the region to implement a number of Portuguese Higher Education Institutions and Research and Development Institutions. In other words, our municipality boasts a series of unrivalled conditions for developing a unique ecosystem in Portugal for innovation and technology. The launch of Oeiras Valley represents the strategy for launching a new cycle of development in Oeiras. It will be a cycle that transforms Oeiras into the Portuguese Silicon Valley.
What are the pillars of this new cycle of development?
The Oeiras Valley strategy is structured around an economy based on science, innovation and technology. In practical terms, we want to attract businesses associated with the most innovative sectors of the economy and commit to research (namely, bioscience, ICTs, oceanographic research and the development of solutions associated with the maritime economy)
We want to create the conditions to make Oeiras the biggest nursery for innovation, science and creativity and technology in Portugal. We want Oeiras, like Silicon Valley, to attract the best talent in the country. However, the ultimate goal is to attract wealth to promote social cohesion. Our social policies, recognised on account of their innovation, seek to generate well-being and happiness throughout the community, putting an end to social imbalances.
What are the municipality’s main advantages for those looking to invest?
The municipality offers countless advantages. We highlight the central location, with good access and close to the airport; our residents have a high level of professional and academic qualifications; an unrivalled standard of living, which can be seen in the various pleasant green spaces; a Science and Technology Park (Taguspark), several renowned business parks to accommodate businesses and various high-quality office blocks; the Agrotech Campus, which is home to the main R&D firms in Portugal in this area (ITBQ NOVA, INIAV and IBET); various incubation spaces; an extensive network of social support and teaching facilities at the different levels of education, in addition to an international school; and a dynamic local government. All these factors make Oeiras an excellent place to live, work and visit.
How much does Oeiras Council intend on investing?
In total, we plan to invest, by 2026, close to 400 million euros in the enhancement of the economy, education, housing, environment and territorial intelligence. We will continue investing in the areas that position our municipality as one of the main catalysts for economic, social and human development in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon and Portugal as a whole.