INESC-ID has joined a wide ranging set of partners in a new consortium whose goal is to accelerate the digital transformation of the public and private sectors in Portugal.

Representing an investment of 34.5 million euros supported by the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan (Plano de Recuperação e Resiliência, PRR), will be led by and include companies and research institutions as varied as INESC-ID, Instituto Superior Técnico, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, IBM, Microsoft or KPMG. Interested clients will include the banking sector (Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Novo Banco and Santander), the Portuguese Ministry of Health (e.g., the Portuguese National Health System, SNS), the Portuguese Ministry of Social Security, companies from the electricity and gas sectors (EDP and Galp), as well as other companies such as NOS, Worten and the insurance provider Fidelidade. aims to improve and optimize customer support services across the Portuguese and European markets based on the development of a unique set of technological solutions that pair virtual assistants with contact centers in European Portuguese. On, Daniela Braga, founder of, commented that “Alone, we go faster, but together we go further, resulting from committed and motivated teamwork. It is with enthusiasm that I thank the team that has accompanied me in this great project and present in Portugal, the first virtual assistant 100% in my native language.”

Alberto Abad will lead INESC-ID’s participation in, a role that will mainly consist in investigating and exploring the capacity to mutually convert from speech to text and text to speech, also known as Automatic Speech Recognition and Speech Synthesis a key component of Conversational AI. INESC-ID and IST will take responsibility for the development and derived research activities of the modules of the speech-to-speech conversational stack, particularly, those related with automatic speech recognition and text-to-speech for European languages, and very especially, European Portuguese. The impact of this research is expected to concentrate on promoting a faster deployment of new languages, more engaging and successful agents, as well as better acceptance by specific population groups. is one of two Artificial Intelligence (AI)-related PRR-supported consortia that INESC-ID will be involved in. Have a read on that other AI PRR-supported ptoject, Responsible AI.