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Algarve Smart Destination, Digital Innovation Hub

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Contact Data

Coordinator (Other)

Algarve STP (System and Technology Partnership)

Year Established



Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, Pavilhão B1, 8005-139, Faro (Portugal)


Contact information

Francesco Berrettini



Algarve Smart Destination (ASD), Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) is as an informal network of private and public institutions focalized in digitalization of economy in the territory, mainly in turism sector, led by the Algarve Systems and Technological Partnership Association (Algarve STP), a non for profit association that incorporates the University of Algarve, the National Association of Young Entrepreneurial (ANJE) and three Municipalities of the Algarve region, namely Loulé, Faro, Olhão and a private association of IT companies, Algarve Evolution

ASD incorporates the Division of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer (CRIA) of the University of Algarve, as an experienced entity in assisting SMEs, entrepreneurs and research centers, scouting and fostering research and development, and implementing innovation. Moreover, CRIA manages an early-stage innovation incubator, aiming to foster startups and spinoffs and support the implementation of applied R&D projects by industry partners. Moreover, CRIA integrates an Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), assisting researchers, entrepreneurs, startups and SME’s in protecting and transfer knowledge to the market. In the scope of the digitization process, the University of Algarve, CRIA plays a relevant role in providing training courses and services to support the transition to the digital economy.

Altis is a technological company with large expertise in the field of communication and digitalization, especially trough Altice Labs. The company is an important player, at a national and international level, that reinforces the activity of the Algarve Smart Destination HUB, as well as the innovation and networking potential

Fraunhofer Portugal contributes significantly with expertise in the digitation process and in applied research with companies.

The ASD focuses on linking research institutions, industrial and technological centers, industrial associations, incubators, science and technology parks, industrial companies, technology companies, training institutions, and government agencies.

More specifically, ASD aims to create linkages, namely:

  1. Between technological providers and technological needs of tourism and smart destination and cities;
  2. Supporting SME’s in the digitalization process;
  3. Improving the use of the technological solution for problem-solving in tourism and smart destination and cities;
  4. Attract innovative and technological providers in the territory, mainly for the tourism sector and management for a smart destination using ICT and process digitalization;
  5. To create a favorable environment for technological development and experimentation;
  6. Develop IA and deep learning applied in the tourism sectors and in digital marketing applications

Predictive analysis and deep learning to understanding the tourism industry and IoT process automatization to foster an efficient Smart Destination Management are some of the paths to follow

Link to national or regional initiatives for digitising industry

Regarding the linkages of ASD to regional and national initiatives for digitalizing industry, incorporating the triple helix model, the Algarve HUB has increase significantly its activity in the last decade, capitalizing the EU policies towards university-enterprise cooperation. These actions, potentialized by the National and European public policies, and aligned with the Regional Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3), where developed in close cooperation among the University, the private companies, and the public entities. 
Regional stakeholders, namely the business associations and the division for entrepreneurship and technology transfer, have supported these actions. As Interface entities, their role is to intermediate supply and demand of R&D, and support any licensing and internationalization procedures. At an operational level, specific initiatives have been developed by the interface entities, like business ideas contests, tech-to-market initiatives, scouting actions, and Intellectual Property sessions. 
Regarding EU funded projects, the region stakeholders have also developed a strong path in the last decade, building partnerships and improving research and innovation capacity in the digitizing industry. As a concrete example of this capacity and critical mass, bellow we present a list of projects and initiatives in this sector, namely:
AGERAR project – Storage and Management of Renewable Energy Sources in Commercial and Residential Applications (translated from Almacenamiento y Gestión de Energías Renovables en Aplicaciones Comerciales y Residenciales), project ID 0076_AGERAR_6_E, financed by the European Union, in the aim of the POCTEP program, by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). From June 2017 to September 2019. University of Algarve’s budget 141.946,18. Total budget € 1.058.795,90. More information available at:
Project “Managing the Intelligence” (MTI), QREN-30260, between the University of Algarve and the CERTIGARVE, LDA company. The aim of the MTI project was to create a set of 6LoWPAN Internet of Thing (IoT) devices that run optimization algorithms and collaborate in managing Electrical Grids according with its constraints. MTI was a Research and Technological Development (R & TD) project funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSFR/QREN), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Operational Programme Algarve 21.
Project OCEANTECH, Collaborative vehicles and operation management systems for deep sea exploration (ALG-01-0247-FEDER-02-4508) (in portuguese “Sistema de Gestão de Operações com base em Veículos Robóticos Inteligentes para a Exploração do Mar Global a partir de Portugal), financed by the Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER) through the Programa Operacional CRESC Algarve 2020, Portugal 2020. This project is funded with approximately 10 M€ for 36 month. Partnership: Abyssal (Coordinator) and co-promoted by IPMA, CEIIA, TEKEVER AS, OceanScan, Universidade do Porto, TEKEVER ASDS, Usimeca, University of Algarve, Critical Materials, TEKEVER TI and Instituto Superior Técnico.
Project PRHOLO, The realistic holographic public relations – Research member in the PRHOLO project, financed by QREN I&DT, n.º 33845, Promotor SPIC - Sonha Pensa Imagina Comunica, Lda. Co-promotor University of the Algarve, Duration: 1 Set. 2013 - 30 Jun. 2015. (URL:
Project i3FR, Intelligent Fresh Food Fleet Router - Research member in the QREN I&DT, n.º 34130, promotor: X4DEV - Business Solutions, SA, co-promotor: Universidade do Algarve (2013 – 2015) Coordinator: Prof. Pedro Cardoso, Duration: 2 Sept. 2013 – 30 Jun. 2015.
Project M5SAR, Mobile Five Senses Augmented Reality System for Museums, financed by Portugal 2020, CRESC Algarve 2020 I&DT, nº 3322, promotor SPIC - Sonha Pensa Imagina Comunica, Lda., co-promotor UAlg (2016 – 2018).
Project “Improvement of the Energy Efficiency of the Alto da Colina Hotel” (translated from “Melhoria da Eficiência Energética do Hotel Alto da Colina”), Vale I&D, financed by the CRESC ALGARVE 2020, Portugal 2020, European Union Structural and Investment Funds. From January to December 2016.
ACCES4ALL: Acessibility for all in tourism, 02/SAICT/2016 - Sistema de Apoio à Investigação Científica e Tecnológica (SAICT), projetos de Investigação Científica e Desenvolvimento Tecnológico (IC&DT) em co-promoção, Portugal 2020, CRESC2020, FEDER (2017 – 2019);
OBSERVE: OBservatório da SustEntabilidade da Região do AlgarVE para o turismo, 05/ALG/2017, Sistema de Apoio a Ações Coletivas - Transferência do Conhecimento Científico e Tecnológico Portugal2020, CRESC2020, FEDER (2017 – 2019)
MILAGE - Interactive Mathematics by implementing a Blended-Learning model with Augmented Reality and Game books, financed by ERASMUS+, 2015-1-PT01-KA201-012921 (2015-2018).
PI - SparseCoding: A sparse coding hierarchy for realtime object recognition in complex scenes, financed by FCT, CINTAL/UAlg (Vision Laboratory), EXPL/EEI-SII/1982/2013 (2014-2015). 
SRM: Smart Revenue Management, financed by QREN I&DT, n.º 38962, promotor VISUALFORMA - Tecnologias de Informação, SA. (2013 – 2015).
PI - FootData: Integrated information System for football, financed by QREN I&DT, n.º 23119. Promoter INESTING – Marketing Tecnológico, SA, co-promotor Universidade do Algarve (2012-2014)
NeuralDynamics: A neuro-dynamic framework for cognitive robotics: scene representations, behavioural sequences, and learning,  financed by EC, CINTAL/UAlg (Vision Laboratory), FP7-ICT-2009-6 PN: 270247 (2011-2015).
Blavigator: a cheap and reliable navigation aid for the blind, financed by FCT, CINTAL/UAlg (Vision Laboratory), RIPD/ADA/109690/2009 (2011-2013).
SmartVision: active vision for the blind, financed by FCT, CINTAL/UAlg (Vision Laboratory), PTDC/EIA/73633/2006 (2008-2011).
NeuralCorrelates: Neural correlates of object recognition: structure-function correlations within the visual ventral stream, striatal and limbic circuits in health and disease, financed by FCT, AIBILI – Coimbra, PTDC/PSI/67381/2006 (2007-2010).
MOVIDE: Modeling Visual Detection, financed by FCT, CINTAL/UAlg (Vision Laboratory), POCTI/36445/PSI/2000 (2000-2003).
AMOVIP: Advanced Modeling of Visual Information Processing, financed by EC, Vision Laboratory,INCO-ESPRIT, INCO-DC 961646 (DGIII).  (1998-2001).
ISACS: Integrated System for Analysis and Characterization of the Seafloor, financed by EC, Vision Laboratory, MAS3-CT95-0046 (1996-1999).
FCT - PTDC/CS-GEO/102961/2008: "Innovation netwroks in Portugal: Intensity of the flows, knowledge Spillovers and business performance" (2010-2013), financed by national science Foundation (FCT);
"Innovation in the Small and Very Small Enterprises and Dynamics of the Local Development", financed by EC - Socio Economic Knowledge Base;
Project: 2G-MED09-225 "MEDTECHNO", financed by Med program (2010-2013);
Project: 2G-MED09-189 "KNOWING", financed by Med program (2010-2013);
Project: 2G-MED09-152"IKTIMED", financed by Med program (2010-2013);
COST Action TU0801: "Semantic Enrichment of 3D City Models for Sustainable Urban Development" (2009-2012), financed by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology);
Consultancy on monitoring and evaluation of the regional planning plan - PROT Algarve" (2009-2012), contracted by CCDR Akgarve;
Consultancy on "Geographic information systems for the optimization of golf course management" (2009); , contracted by Grupo Oceânico S.A.;
Consultancy on Market Study of the Algarve Wines, contracted by Confederation of Companies of the Algarve;
Consultancy on the Statistical Information System and the Tourism Satellite Account, contracted by the National Statistical Institute (INE);
Project "Profile and Economic and Social Potential of Nautical Tourism in the Algarve: Strategy for Development";
Project "Indicators of Monitoring and Forecasting of Tourism Activity -IMPACTUR", financed by Portuguese Tourism Board;
Project “Model of Comparative Analysis of the Competitiveness of the Algarve Tourism Versus the Mediterranean Basin of Spain - COMPETITIVTUR ", financed by QREN 2007-2013

Market and Services


  • Agriculture and food
  • Maritime and fishery
  • Construction
  • Tourism (incl. restaurants and hospitality)
  • Transport and logistics
  • Real estate, renting and business activities
  • Public administration
  • Education
  • Life sciences & healthcare
  • Community, social and personal service activities
  • Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
  • Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment

TRL Focus

  • TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Visioning and Strategy Development for Businesses
  • Collaborative Researchs
  • Concept validation and prototyping
  • Testing and validation
  • Commercial infrastructure
  • Incubator/accelerator support
  • Market intelligence
  • Access to Funding and Investor Readiness Services
  • Mentoring
  • Education and skills development
  • Other

Service Examples


  • Client profile: Visual Forma - Tecnologias de Informação, SA
  • Client Need: ICT in Tourism
  • Provided Solution to meet the needs

Within the project, the company developed a support algorithm for hotel management, offering multidimensional analysis that takes into account the simultaneous use of various scientific models and Semantic Web analysis, for the purpose of setting prices and forecasting occupancy for hotels and similar types of lodging. This will allow an innovative tool to be made available at global level, providing the market with the possibility of systematic monitoring of the dynamics of supply and demand, with a view to maximize revenue from rooms, through efficient price setting.

The R&D consortium is composed by the University of Algarve, responsible for the scientific and technological component, and Visualforma, which handled the technological developments, enabling the progress able to be applied in the global marketplace.

As such, the research/project focused on two main areas:

- Research and development of algorithms that will make it possible to search for, extract, normalize, store and model the data needed for the Semantic Web study and characterization, that could have an influence, not only on searches for the hotel itself, but also for a specific region. The information needed for "Dynamic Price Management" varies from site to site and sometimes even within a site itself. Examples of this could be: "Establishment's overall level of satisfaction" or "Collating of comments synthesized in keywords";

- Research and development of mathematical tools, in particular that will enable the simultaneous use of various models for forecasting occupancy and optimizing accommodation prices.

We believe that the availability of a product of this nature to a segment of hotels that does not currently have resources to apply RM models in the traditional manner, will allow them to become more competitive, resulting in a significantly more dynamic segment.


Contact: Claudio Martins, Diretor Comercial,  

More details:

S-GREEN – Integrated Intelligent System for Irrigation Management in real time

  • Client profile: Itelmatis Lda
  • Client Need: Agriculture 4.0
  • Provided Solution to meet the needs

ITELMATIS developed, in a joint R&D venture with the University of Algarve, a hardware and software solution for the development of an Integrated Intelligent System for Irrigation Management in real time, particularly directed to the management of golf courses.

As main innovative outputs, we can highlight that the system automatically adjusts its performance according with the weather, but also due to technical constraints identified through the collection and issuance of actual data (not estimated), collected and processed in real time. For example, if a pumping unit fails during the irrigation, or if it starts to rain, the system adapts itself automatically.

The final product is an intelligent system, able to make a permanent reading of the surrounding golf course, producing a response in light of that interpretation, acting more like rational human action and less mechanized.

In synthesis, the solution will revolutionize the way the service is developed, no longer based on estimates and historical statistics to spend to be managed according to collected data and processed in real time, reducing margins error, operating costs and, ultimately, getting the management of water resources better.


Contact: Adelino Venturinha,

More details:

PR Holo

  • Client profile: SPIC Solutions
  • Client Need: New ICT solutions in the marketing sector
  • Provided Solution to meet the needs

Global markets communication are increasingly demanding. Creativity in design, marketing and advertising, by itself is not enough to make a company grow, especially for companies that focus on the international markets. Aware of the changing trends, SPIC has started to lead its activity to services related to the new digital media. In the scope of its research activities in the area of human interaction technology, sensed the market trends for access to a diversified holographic experiences in a different market segment with potential for commercialization in different geographic markets.

The product developed is a hologram of a person in a real size, which aims to be a receptionist or a public relations in a company or an event that interact dynamically in office information requested by the user and the physical space where it is integrated using guidance counselor and useful source of information.

The product is divided into two parts which are closely linked: (a) PRHolo, frame-shaped "box" containing inside a holographic character, which is displayed on a 2D plane suggesting volume. The second module, (b) PRHolo360, the contents to be released are the same, but in this particular case the holographic projection is made on a cylindrical shape providing a holographic projection format 360 (3D), allowing users to view the character from any angle, equating it really a real human figure. Both modules are equipped with a volumetric (s) sensor(s) in order to detect the users movement and internet connection, allowing tablet or smartsphone interaction

Contact: Paulo Bica, CEO,

More details:


Organizational form

Networked organization, without formal structure



Number of employees


Evolutionary Stage

Fully operational

Geographical Scope



  • Horizon 2020
  • European Regional Development Fund
  • National basic research funding
  • National specific innovation funding


Number of customers annually


Type of customers

  • Start-up companies
  • SMEs (<250 employees)
  • Research organisations



Partner Type

Research & Technology organization



Partner Type



Algarve Evolution

Partner Type

Industry association



Partner Type




Partner Type




Partner Type




Partner Type




Partner Type




Partner Type




Partner Type



Algarve University

Partner Type




  • Micro/nano electronics
  • Sensory systems
  • Cyber physical systems
  • Internet of things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Interaction technologies
  • Big data, data analytics, data handling
  • Virtual, augmented and extended reality
  • Simulation, modelling and digital twins
  • Software as a service and service architectures
  • Cloud computing
  • Logistics
  • Internet services
Last updated: 28/11/19 10:10