Skip to main content

Data Science and Artificial Intelligence in the Public Administration

(avaliable only in English)

Under the Innovation Roadmap, FCT promotes a Call of projects that aims to support the development of partnerships between public administration and R&D institutions so that together they can build new ways of processing public data for the production of knowledge relevant to society, using advanced techniques of artificial intelligence and data science. This is the first of 3 annual Calls with a total budget of 10M€. The Notice of the Call of the first Call is available here and the submission of applications will take place from March 15 to April 30. This action is part of Axis 5 - Research of the National Initiative Digital Skills e.2030 (Portugal INCoDe.2030).

Every year, in order to provide services to citizens, the Public Administration collects millions of administrative data. While this data supports the purpose for which it is requested, its value goes far beyond that use. When processed, these data have the potential to inform decision-making, optimize resources, improve public policy, and ultimately contribute to improving people's lives.

Advances in computing techniques and artificial intelligence make it possible to analyze, in an increasingly complex way, different sets of microdata, combining them in new ways to extract knowledge that was previously inaccessible. The scientific community thus becomes essential to develop a model of public administration based on advanced analytical methods that allow the full potential of existing data to be extracted.

In addition to Call, to stimulate data science in Public Administration, a set of four projects identified in an integrated manner by the Offices of the Minister of the Presidency and Administrative Modernization and the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, in close collaboration with the coordination of the Initiative Portugal INCoDe.2030, the Agency for Administrative Modernization (AMA) and the FCT are already being driven. These partnerships will be funded for 18 months, with a total financial envelope of 500,000 euros. They are:

Project 1: Analysis of antibiotic prescribing patterns (partnership between the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health, SPMS, and the Gulbenkian Science Institute)

This project aims to prevent the excessive and inappropriate prescription of antibiotics, which represents a threat and a public health problem. Based on the digital transformation that is occurring in the prescription of medicines and health products, namely through the Paperless Prescription, it is intended to deepen the analysis of antibiotic prescribing patterns using data from electronic medical prescriptions.

 Project 2: Assessment of long-term unemployment risk (partnership between Instituto de Emprego e Formação Profissional, IEFP, and NOVA SBE)

The project aims to deepen the analysis of the records of the Institute of Employment and Vocational Training, IEFP, in order to detect early the risk of long-term unemployment and identify gaps in the skills of unemployed profiles in relation to the labor market.

Project 3: Food and Economic Surveillance (partnership between the Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica, ASAE, and the Laboratório de Inteligência Artificial e Ciência dos Computadores, Universidade do Porto, LIACC)

The project aims to develop risk analysis models for the selection of economic agents to be inspected, based on the databases available and to be developed under this project. The risk analysis models should include the simulation of the behaviors of diversified economic agents, including virtual agents (i.e. with presence on the internet). It is intended to use all available information to improve prevention in the areas of food safety and economic surveillance.

Project 4: intelligent support to entrepreneurs (chatbots) (partnership between Agência para a Modernização Administrativa, AMA, and Centro de Informática e Sistemas da Universidade de Coimbra, CISUC)

The project aims to deepen and apply artificial intelligence and natural language processing techniques in the development of intelligent agents (chatbot) able to answer questions and clarify doubts of entrepreneurs within the Entrepreneur's Desk / Business Space. It includes automatic support on start-up issues, licensing, support and financing, among others.