Areas such as Data Science, Statistics, Computer Science and Programming, as well as Engineering are seen by Antnio Costa Silva as crucial for the future and should be encouraged. The qualification deficit of the Portuguese population is another structural problem to which the plan intends to respond, with the aim of increasing the levels of productivity, economic growth and innovation.
In line with the Portugal 2030 Strategy, it is necessary to continue investing in strengthening the qualifications and skills of the Portuguese. The country needs to have human resources with the qualifications and skills necessary for the economic, environmental and social development and transformation that it is intended to promote, underlines the adviser. Among the areas of intervention are the alignment of the qualification of young people with the new economic specializations, paying particular attention to digital competences and their professional insertion.
What are the proposals of the Recovery Plan for the digital transition?
Extension of optical fiber to the whole country
The plan contemplates the expansion of optical fiber coverage to the entire country as a crucial factor for the digital and ecological transition, contributing to the increase of the competitiveness of the business fabric, to the territorial cohesion and to the innovation and research ecosystem.
An investment plan for digital literacy in the education system
The integration of technologies in basic, secondary, university and professional education, with a view to the continuous improvement of the quality of learning and the innovation and development of the educational system. Among the objectives to be fulfilled are to provide citizens with the necessary digital skills for their personal and professional fulfillment, as well as to guarantee equal opportunities in access to digital educational equipment and resources and to invest in the digital skills of teachers and trainers.
It is also necessary to provide the institutions with IT resources, reinforcing network connections for both students and teachers and preparing them with a digital infrastructure suited to their needs. The technological equipping of schools and families and the training of teachers and trainers are decisive for the future, details the plan.
In addition, the human resources requalification program in digital technologies must be extended to all sectors and involve all levels of education.
An investment plan in public administration
The objective is to accelerate the digital transition process, allowing the strengthening of the competences of all public bodies in the use of digital technologies and in the flexibility and simplification of work processes. Highlighted is the promotion of the modernization of public administration computer systems, whether hardware or software], integrating all platforms to increase the efficiency and speed of all interventions.
It is also necessary to reinforce the Public Administration's qualification program linked to the rejuvenation of staff and the ability to attract young talents to accelerate the digitization process. The integration of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science to process information and improve the management of processes, the understanding of complex realities and support decision making on other important points.
The digitization process must be done in the context of implementing a strategic planning system that also takes into account the need to anticipate and manage risks. The management of the State's heritage and the Portuguese diplomatic and consular network in the world must also be considered in the process.
An investment plan in the business fabric
According to Antnio Costa Silva, it is necessary to draw up an investment plan that will allow companies to catch up with the existing digital transition issue, supporting the achievement of Industry 4.0.
Thus, it is important to give access to digital technological means that promote the modernization of work and production processes, that dematerialize workflows, that cover competence deficits in the use of digital technologies and that adapt companies to the organization of teleworking and the flexibility of supply chains. operation.
The increase in digital skills and the qualification of companies' human resources, combined with the National Adult Literacy Plan, is crucial because workers with more skills means more competitive companies, underlines the adviser.
A bet on science and technology
This bet has several components:
- An investment plan in Universities, Politicians, Research Centers and Technological Centers
The objective is to address the weaknesses that still exist in terms of availability of technological means and access to the use of information and communication technologies, reinforcing support for the training of researchers.
All ongoing initiatives, such as the National Digital Skills Initiative, the Network of Higher Schools of Digital Systems, the Collaborative Training Centers, the Network of Postgraduate Schools for business purposes, must be strengthened and enhanced with a new cycle investment and development, details the plan.
- Training program for technological centers and applied research
The program provides for the financing of technological equipment, facilities, business mediation structures, involving investment and highly qualified resources. In view are the technological diffusion, the accelerated valorization of knowledge, the technological and market surveillance, in addition to the preponderance of collaborative R&D.
Ongoing initiatives should be revisited to increase their activity, taking into account the very positive impact on the Portuguese university and scientific system. Among them are the Roadmap for Scientific Infrastructures 2020, the Network of Associated and Collaborative Laboratories, the Investigar + Project and the Go Portugal partnerships, with MIT, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Austin.
The plan states that the project for the Advanced Computer Network and Green Supercomputing Network is also very important for the country. Thus, the role of the Center for Advanced Computing at the University of Minho should be reinforced, since it is an essential element for the sustainability of the project.
- Portugal Program as a European Engineering Center
The technological revolution and the reindustrialization of the country require skilled labor and, in particular, engineers. It is therefore crucial to reinforce the country's role as a European Engineering Center. The plan also recommends the creation of educational kits illustrating the professions most needed to attract secondary school students.