Lisbon believes that the future of the city will be strongly depended of the capability to invest and support the areas of innovation, knowledge, creativity and entrepreneurship. Therefore, it has established an ambitious strategy to become European Capital of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and recently as a reward for that effort, has been selected as winner of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) for 2015.

Innovation, creativity, knowledge, learning, experimentation and co-creation are key words written and spoken in city´s daily life. 

Rumor has it, fed by unsuspected sources as the New York Times, Boston Globe or Financial Times, that Lisbon is the San Francisco of Europe and not only because of the hills and trams – but also because Lisbon may well be one of the most dynamic and exciting ecosystems for new business creation. The city strategy on this regard is to make Lisbon move beyond its known identity and its objective is to be one of the most creative and innovative cities in Europe, and city officers are very focused on partnerships and alliances to make things happen. Lisbon is working with a "micro-site" concept that will result in a network of sixteen incubator locations. In addition to the development of niche sites, they are in the process of developing an online portal system that will connect all of the incubators over time. The portal will provide information on start-up programming and education, information about incubator tenants, opportunities for collaboration, and targeting by potential investors.

Simply put, Lisbon acknowledges the unique needs of the entrepreneur. Building the entrepreneurial city is about leveraging the past, about leveraging what put a city on the map in the first place. It is also about defining and redefining the opportunity, whether it be urban development, an economic engine, talent retention or a combination of some or many more objectives. More than anything, building the entrepreneurial city is about acknowledging the important role that entrepreneurs play in re-positioning the city from what it once was, to what it must become. When asked “Why Lisbon?" Lisbon-based entrepreneurs offer similar sound bites: "Lots of talent", "Affordable talent", "Ease to set up the company", "The city is small enough to use as a test site". These are the attributes that entrepreneurs value when determining the favorable ecosystem for developing their business and that are being fostered by accelerating services such as:

  • THE INCUBATORS NETWORK: Lisbon Incubators Network currently includes 16 incubators, adding more than 300 startups and 1200 jobs. The network provides investors and financing instruments, acceleration programs, entrepreneurship clubs and coworking spaces -
  • STARTUP LISBOA - the city’s network of incubators also present in this project as an associated partner - The mission of Startup Lisboa is to facilitate the creation and development of entrepreneurship through a combination of infrastructure and specialist support services. This business incubator, which aims to support innovative projects with potential for internationalization, is anchored in a private non-profit organization -
  • FAB LAB LISBOA – a digital manufacturing and prototyping facility - is a fabrication-laboratory located in Lisbon’s city center at a local market, providing a new rapid prototyping lab serving businesses and giving the city another important tool for innovation. The Fab Lab Lisboa is thought to function as a "think-tank" where designers, developers, students and other actors gather to develop projects for the local community -
  • LISBOA EMPREENDE – offers consulting services for setting up micro-enterprises in partnership with finantial institutions –
  • LISBON ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK: A week of celebration, reflection, discussion and promotion of entrepreneurship in the city of Lisbon. All partners who have been sharing this adventure with us to turn Lisbon into a startup city were defied to submit an initiative/event to be held during this week. We just celebrate the 4th Edition – from 4 to 10 of May - facebook/semanaempreendedorismodelisboa
  • STUDY IN LISBON: It´s a web platform that brings together information, actors and initiatives with the central objective of attracting and retaining talents, and positioning the city of Lisbon as a global hub in the fields of knowledge and innovation -


So there’s a continuum and permanent connectivity between Lisbon City Council and the knowledge and innovation stakeholders, resulting in processes or tasks that create and build knowledge based in strong interdependencies and therefore, a large amount of the value generated in Lisbon drives thru innovation.

Lisbon Region: Facts and Figures

  • Lisbon is the Capital of a country with 10.4 million habitants and center of a Metropolitan area with a population of 2.8 million;
  • Lisbon is a region where you can find the decision-making centers of the country's economy , accounting for around 37% of national GDP and employs around 1,386 thousand people (29% of the jobs in the country), expressing a apparent productivity of work 1.3 times greater than that of the country;
  • The Lisbon region concentrates a large number of companies with a high degree of technology and R&D, being the space where they are located approximately 317,000 companies;
  • It is also in the region of Lisbon that the staff in foreign companies and in high technology companies has more weight, compared with the national average.


Key figures in the digital sector

Economic weight
  • About 5.839 companies in ICT specific sector with 4.3% of Lisbon Region GDP
  • More than 53.000 people employed in the ICT sector
  • Annual average employment rate in ICT 3,6% since 2004
  • Number of ICT patent applicants with about 9.39 applications made to the European Patent Office
  • Overall turnover of 8.096 Million Euro in 2012
  • 8.740 Graduates from tertiary education in S&T areas in 2012/13
Research & Innovation
  • Lisbon is the Leading region within Portugal for research and development activity
  • Lisbon region has as expenditure on research and development 1.8% of GDP, 0,4% percentage points above the national average for Portugal (1.4%)
Entrepreneurial drive
  • Lisbon is European Entrepreneurial Region 2015
  • 11.361 enterprises founded in 2014
  • Lisbon is in the Top Most Attractive European Cities and Regions of The Future 2014/15 for FDI (FT FDI)
  • 16 incubators and start-up centres


Lisbon in a nutshell

  • Capital City, with several ports in its area of influence, Lisbon is long considered a unique platform for trade between the different continents. Allows easy access to 500 million European consumers, thanks to a modern and complete network of highways, railways and other transport infrastructure and logistics.
  • The weight of international trade has become more pronounced in the region, with one third of the country's exports and destination and more than half of the country's imports. In evolutionary terms this fact as particular importance, since exports in 2013, showed a growth of more than 30% compared to values recorded in 2008.
  • Lisbon as the largest university/ research polo in the country, with 140,000 students enrolled in higher education, more than 15,000 researchers, receiving annually more than 13,000 international students and more than 3,000 students under the Erasmus program, relying on more than a sixteen incubators, and 4 spaces of acceleration of companies, scattered throughout the city.


11 Universities.

96 Faculties.

+150 Research Centers.

Person in charge

Jorge Vieira, Economista, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa,