Microsoft is launching an AI innovation hub in Portugal

Written By Manuel Poças

Microsoft announced that it will launch an AI hub called the AI Innovation Factory, in Portugal, in partnership with Accenture, Avanade, and Unicorn Factory Lisboa, with the objective of accelerating businesses’ adoption of AI solutions.

The factory will be integrated within Unicorn Factory’s AI Hub, in Alvalade, Lisbon, and its goal is to foster innovation by leveraging AI and accelerating the increase of its application by public and private companies.

With an inauguration projected for November this year, the AI innovation factory will work across all sectors and contribute to the sustainable development of the country by creating and applying systems that rely on emerging technologies.

Until the inauguration date, the AI innovation factory’s program will start rolling within the headquarters of Microsoft and the remaining partners, in Lisbon. It will provide companies with a platform for enhanced inspiration and idealization, where they can access real use cases and try on approved design thinking methodologies.

According to a study by Microsoft and the consultancy firm IDC, 62% of Portuguese companies already use AI, and 25% of those who do not, hope to implement it in the near future.

Note that the data of the study come from more than 2,000 company leaders and decision-makers from around the world.

Currently, the three most applied use cases in Portugal are advanced data analytics, chatbots, and project optimization.

40% of Portuguese organizations (public and private) use public cloud platforms for experimentation, development, and testing of AI, and 26% use public cloud platforms during the entire cycle of implementing an AI solution.

36% of Portuguese organizations (public and private) already have an overseeing governance body responsible for supervising and managing the AI, and 77% affirm that it is very important that AI providers have a responsible AI strategy in place.

Companies are anxious to start developing and applying AI solutions. 67% of those who were interviewed already utilize AI tools in their organizations and 21% plan on doing it in the upcoming months.

The companies that have already implemented AI solutions are obtaining a return on investment (ROI) within 14 months, and for every 0.91 euros they spend, they get 3.06 euros back.

Notwithstanding, the lack of qualified professionals is hindering the possibility of accelerating the AI adoption process of 54% of Portuguese companies.

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