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As part of the National Strategic Reference Framework, the aim of the Operational Competitiveness Programme (COMPETE), which was approved on 5 October 2007, is sustained improvement in the competitiveness of the Portuguese economy in a global market context. It intervenes in strategic dimensions, such as innovation, scientific and technological development, internationalisation, entrepreneurship and the modernisation of the public administration.

Its main objectives are:

  • To improve qualifications in the production sector by upgrading specialisation profiles and business models;
  • To stimulate orientation towards international markets on the part of the Portuguese economy by increasing production suitable for trading or internationalisation;
  • To qualify the public administration and make state action more efficient through modernisation and the promotion of a public service culture focused on citizens and companies;
  • To foster an innovation- and knowledge-based economy by stimulating scientific and technological development and encouraging entrepreneurship.

COMPETE has four types of instruments to achieve these objectives. They revolve around six priority areas:

  • Company investment incentive schemes;
  • Financial engineering mechanisms;
  • Collective action;
  • Public action to modernise the public administration and build the capacity of the national science and technology system.

Support from the programme goes to the mainland regions of  in the Convergence Objective (North, Centre and Alentejo).

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