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Praia da Vitória ,  September 11, 2018

European "SMARTDEST" project to have a practical component on Terceira for development of technological solutions linked to tourism

The Regional Director for Science and Technology defended in Praia da Vitória that the "process of transforming" the Azores destination requires the "implementation of innovative technologies developed by companies scientifically advised by researchers of the Azores Scientific and Technological System."
Bruno Pacheco spoke at the opening of a workshop on SMARTDEST, which is being attended by thirty participants. The project is co-financed by the INTERREG MAC 2014-2020 Programme, with which the Regional Government has established a partnership, through the Regional Fund for Science and Technology. It is primarily intended to promote cooperation between the regions of Macaronesia to "transform the islands of the Azores, Madeira, Canaries and Cape Verde into 'smart tourist destinations.'"
The Regional Director stated that the concept of "Smart Tourist Destination" emerged in 2012 in Catalonia. It is "strongly linked to the approaches envisaged in the Smart Cities concept, although it intends to go further, relying on new information technologies and sustainable tourism development."
According to Bruno Pacheco, this approach is based on the establishment of public-private partnerships, with special emphasis on partnerships between universities and companies, the improvement of human resources and knowledge, and the establishment of horizontal communication. The aim is to "facilitate the understanding of the entire population about the transformation process to be carried out by the responsible entities."
"SMARTDEST is expected to provide a diagnosis of the technological maturity in the entire archipelago as well as a proposal for a plan containing actions designed to convert the Azores into a 'smart tourist destination,'" said the Regional Director.
In his speech, Bruno Pacheco pointed out this project as "a good example of the proximity between the business fabric and the Scientific and Technological System of the Azores." The government official also stressed that it allows the "technological transfer with clear benefits for the Region," namely in tourism, but it can be extended to other sectors.
The Regional Director stated that this project should contribute to making the archipelago an "innovative, accessible, integrated and competitive tourist destination. It aims to guarantee the sustainable development of the territory as well as to promote the interaction and integration of visitors with the destination and residents, thus enriching the tourism experience and the quality of life of the local population."
"It is about providing the archipelago with the necessary mechanisms and policies so that the agents in the tourism sector may obtain data in real time, analyse them and make the right decisions, which will allow the Region to be more efficient in the overall management of the destination at all levels," said the government official.
The primary goal concerns the expansion the tourism offer and the promotion of cultural, historical and environmental assets to "facilitate the interaction of tourists with the environment and residents, improving their experience and their assessment of the destination."
The Regional Director also pointed out that SMARTDEST includes a "practical component" in Praia da Vitória designed to promote public-private cooperation for the development of technological solutions. Moreover, it will also contribute to the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation, along with a technical-scientific component of the project, which will be supported by a team of experts from the regions involved.
In the case of the Azores, the Regional Fund for Science and Technology coordinates will be in charge of coordinating the initiative, involving the main agents of the Azores Scientific and Technological System such as companies and experts.
SMARTDEST started in 2017 and has an implementation period of three years. With an overall budget of 1.8 million Euros, it comprises more than two dozen partners from Macaronesia.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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