Portugal on Wednesday agreed to invest 11 million euros ($12.7million) a year over the next decade in the largest technology conference in the world, in a bid to make Lisbon the European capital of innovation.
The deal struck between the tech firm Web Summit and the Portuguese government stipulates a total investment over 10 years of 110 million euros and a commitment to double the size of the venue where the summit takes place so that the yearly gathering can continue to grow.
“We’re incredibly excited to be staying in Portugal," said Paddy Cosgrave, the CEO of Web Summit. "Without a larger venue, this would not be possible. Even until a few months ago, we never believed it would be possible. The plans are incredible and we’re very thankful to all those who have worked on them."
The contract between the company and the Portuguese government also includes a 3-billion-euro buyout clause in the event that the summit's projected economic impact does not become a reality.
"This 10-year agreement with Web Summit will decisively make Lisbon a key capital for innovation, entrepreneurship and talent," said the mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina. "I am confident the next few years will bring a sharp rise in IT investment and employment in Lisbon. We are thrilled to continue to write this story together with Web Summit."
Web Summit is an Irish company founded in Dublin in 2009. The events it hosts bring together over 120,000 people from across 170 countries, making it one of the foremost hubs for technology companies and start-ups.