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Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
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About UMIC

Mobilizing Portugal to fully participate in the information society;
Giving new impetus to entrepreneurial innovation;
Overcoming the scientific and technological lag;
Qualifying human resources.

The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) is the Portuguese public agency with the mission of coordinating information society policy and its mobilization through awareness, qualification and research activities, promoting the technological development and knowledge creation by the scientific and technological system and enterprises, and fostering the development of e-Science.

The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) is a public institution with administrative and financial autonomy and its own patrimony, governed by Decree Law No. 153/2007 (text in Portuguese), of the 27th of April, and statutes approved by Ministerial Decree No. 551/2007 (text in Portuguese), of the 30th of April. It operates under the supervision of and answers to the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education (site in Portuguese). Its Board of Directors was always chaired by Luís Magalhães, from 27th July 2005 to 3rd January 2012. After 4th January 2012, UMIC started to be directed by the Board of Directors of the Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), entity to which, through the new law defining the structure of the Ministry of Education and Science, approved by Decree Law n. 125/2011 (text in Portuguese), of 29th December 2011, all UMIC attributions regarding the Information and Knowledge Society are transferred in the first day of the month following the publication of the new FCT bylaws. These attributions are all the attributions that UMIC detained with the sole exception of those regarding Information Society statistics which are transferred to the new Directorate-General of Statistics of Education and Science, more explicitly those that regard to surveys to the use of ICT by the Public Administration and the Municipalities under a protocol signed with the Statistics Portugal Institute. .

The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) was set up in January 2005 as a public institution by Decree Law No. 16/2005 (text in Portuguese), of the 18th of January, and by the statutes (text in Portuguese) that were approved on the 21st of February 2005, replacing the earlier Innovation and Knowledge Mission Unit (UMIC). Its first Board of Directors was named at the end of July 2005 and was chaired by Luís Magalhães and included Manuel Ricou, Graça Simões, Pedro Ferreira and Anabela Pedroso. In December 2006, Anabela Pedroso became Chairperson of the Board of Directors of AMA – Agency for Administrative Modernisation (site in Portuguese), a new public institute which was then being set up and which became fully operational on the 1st of May 2007. It was given the powers and duties that had previously belonged to UMIC in the domain of electronic public administration, in addition to those of the Lojas do Cidadão (Citizens’ Shops) Managing Institute and the Enterprises Formalities Centres, which were previously part of IAPMEI – Institute of Support to Small and Medium Enterprises and Innovation. On the 9th of May 2007, Manuel Ricou left UMIC to become a member of the first Administration Board of the recently created ANCP – National Public Procurement Agency, EPE. This agency began work on this day with the members of the Management Board’s inauguration. It was given the powers and duties that had previously belonged to UMIC for the National Public eProcurement Programme, which in this way completed its incubation phase, and the powers and duties of the Directorate General for Patrimony for public procurement and the management of the central public administration vehicle pool.

The Knowledge Society Agency mission assumed a reinforced relevance since the Portuguese Government Program for 2005-2009 (text in Portuguese) established a Technological Plan as the keystone of the Government’s economic policy. This plan consists on a set of related policies and transversal measures guided by a vision of transforming Portugal into a modern knowledge society. The intentions of this plan were to:

  • Mobilize Portugal to fully participate in the information society;
  • Give a new impetus to enterprise innovation;
  • Overcome the scientific and technological lag;
  • Qualify human resources.”

Besides, the Government launched the Connecting Portugal programme at the end of July 2005 as an action plan to implement the Information Society component of the Technological Plan.


As the coordinating structure for Information Society policies, to mobilize the Information Society by promoting awareness, qualification and research activities (Decree Law 153/2007, of the 27th of April).


To speed up the social ownership of knowledge, information and emerging technologies of global reach, in a highly internationalized environment, opening up in Portugal the opportunities for people and organizations, in the city, the region and the world.


  • KNOWLEDGE AND TECHNOLOGY. To promote and speed up the social ownership of globalised internationalized knowledge, information and emerging technologies of high potential benefit in the creation of wealth and employment, and in the improvement of the quality of life.
  • NETWORKS. To promote the expansion and the strengthening of collaborative networks of people and organizations, stimulating productivity, creativity and excellence.
  • INTERNATIONALIZATION. To promote the internationalization of creative and knowledge and technology transfer activities, as well as those of Information and Knowledge Society policy setting and monitoring.
  • OBSERVATION. To ensure objective and transparent observation of the Information and Knowledge Society and its development prospects.


  • To promote qualifications, inclusion and accessibility to and with ICT.
  • To promote the availability of public interest broadband digital content, infrastructures and services, consolidating cooperative networks and safeguarding privacy, safety and security.
  • To promote knowledge creation and transfer, and the development of emerging technologies (ICT, Future Internet technologies, nanotechnology ...), fostering internationalization.
  • To promote observation and benchmarking of ICT use and development.

More information (in Portuguese) >>