In his latest foreign visit to Portugal, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed MoUs in Lisbon for creation of an India Portugal Space Alliance and launched a unique startup Portal – the India-Portugal International StartUp Hub (IPISH) – in Lisbon.
While the agreements will promote India’s science and technology partnership with Portugal, towards the establishment of a unique Centre on the Azores Archipelago – the Atlantic International Research Centre for trans-Atlantic and north-south cooperation, both countries vowed to create an international network of research and academic organizations to foster a new climate, earth, space and marine research.
With respect to space, cooperation is expected to include development and cooperation of next generation nano and micro satellites. On marine sciences, the project would enable India to study the atmospheric and ocean behaviour of the Atlantic and its linkages with weather patterns including the Monsoon.
The India-Portugal International StartUp Hub (IPISH) is a platform initiated by Startup India and supported by Commerce & Industry Ministry and Startup Portugal for entrepreneurial partnership hosting a range of tools to provide information on the start-up hot spots of Bangalore, Delhi and Lisbon, including policy, taxation, and visa options. It will develop a Go-To-Market Guide too, said a joint statement.
IPISH is expected to help in mutual capacity building, and enable connections between start-ups, investors, and incubators from relevant sectors. It is also expected to establish a network of honorary ambassadors based in India and Portugal to guide start-ups from both countries.
There are strong complementaries between India and Portugal in the start-up sector as Portugal has one of the highest rates of business creation in Europe and has emerged as one of the most vibrant European eco-systems for entrepreneurship.
Lisbon is hosting the Web Summit – a key annual international technology conference – for 3 years from 2016 onwards and in the last Web Summit, more than 700 participants from India participated and the number is expected to go up further this year.