Portuguese economy to get €4.5 billion “shot-in-the-arm”

Prime minister António Costa is calling it preparation for placing Portugal on “the crest of the wave” for the 4th Industrial revolution.

Presenting Indústria 4.0 in Leiria yesterday (on Monday), the PM said the 60-point plan will train-up more than 20,000 workers and have a major impact on the 50,000-plus businesses operating in Portugal.

Over €4.5 billion (of which half is supported by community funding) will be pumped into Indústria 4.0 over the next four years.

200 entities and firms in various sectors (Agro-industry, Retail, Tourism, Automobile – including robotics, electronics, plastics, molds and machinery) have been involved, all of them outlining their ideas for the best way forwards.

“The relationship between the human being and the robot is not like the egg and the chicken”, Costa told his audience as he presented measures formulated over the last 10 months with the help of consulting agency Deloitte’s.

As Costa explained, the ‘updating’ of the way businesses function is “fundamental” to ensure Portugal does not stay in the backseat when it comes to “advances in the economy and in consumers which seek more and more rapid and personalised solutions”.

Palmela car manufacturer Autoeuropa is just one example of how things are set to change, explains Dinheiro Vivo. The factory already has “autonomous vehicles” that transport parts from the warehouse to the production line.

“Any application of Indústria 4.0 will take people from their routine, to more interesting places”, director general Miguel Sanches has told the paper, stressing that the factory is also now serving as an incubator for the development of ideas with start-ups.

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