25 Jul 2022 | Sam Sprigg
Why Lisbon is a hub for XR industry professionals this year
AWE EU 2022

AWE is returning to the European continent with its in-person XR conference, which for the first time will be held this year in the stunning city of Lisbon, Portugal. The event will bring together XR professionals from around the world, providing them with a platform to learn about some of the latest offerings from across the Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality industry, as well as connect with potential investors, business partners and customers in order to grow their networks and customer bases.

So why does Portugal pose a great opportunity for XR professionals and businesses? Well, to start with, the Portuguese Government offers funding for VR projects. As part of its ‘IAPMEI’ program the Government is actively looking to help establish funding lines for various technological projects, particularly those that involve innovative solutions “in the area of digitizing tourist experiences and projects based on virtual reality, enhanced reality and artificial intelligence.”

What support is there for XR start-ups and professionals in Portugal?

  1. The Portuguese Government offers a variety of incentives for businesses and start-ups to make the country their home
  2. The coastal nation and tourism is enticing to investors, partners, and employees alike;
  3. Lisbon’s central location offers fantastic travel connections to nearby European capitals and the rest of the world;
  4. There are a number of different types of Digital Nomad Visas for Portugal that start-ups and professionals can explore;
  5. As well as other incentives for start-ups offered through the ‘Startup Portugal’ program.

It is this forward thinking from the Portuguese Government in recognizing what the XR industry can offer and for focusing on VR as a key technology that is precisely the reason that AWE Europe has moved to Lisbon for 2022. It says a lot about the longevity of a technology when an entire country’s government (and not just on a local or regional level) is actively trying to promote its growth and adoption, and this hints towards a bright future that will foster an innovative environment where the AR, VR and MR industry can thrive in Portugal.

Why Lisbon is an attractive location for XR professionals and investors.

Lisbon is poised to become one of the leading tech hubs in Europe offering several opportunities to professionals, it also is an extremely attractive destination in general. Lisbon is a culturally rich city, with a myriad of things to do as a visitor. 

With several beaches a short drive from the city center, UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the town of Sintra or the Belém Tower a stone’s throw away, art galleries and museums, a vibrant nightlife and incredible food, there is not much more you could really ask for in a city. 

The city also bears a striking resemblance to San Francisco, home to XR industry giants such as Meta, Google, Niantic, and many more.

Similarities between Lisbon, Portugal and San Francisco, USA

With its incredible appeal to talented workers and start-ups, Lisbon also represents a place where several opportunities may lie for investors who are looking to discover the next unicorn tech company or to meet with founders paving the way for the future of XR innovation.

How the AWE Europe AR/VR conference and community brings XR professionals together

Though the AR and VR event is held in English, AWE Europe brings together XR professionals from across the continent, as well as the rest of the world, to engage with one another in an important and meaningful way with a shared goal of furthering the XR industry. There are AWE community members in nearly every country in Europe.

AWE users by country. The darker the color, the greater the number of users.

It is all of these countries and more that AWE Europe taps into - bringing together the best and the brightest of what the XR market has to offer and showcasing it in Europe. Augmented Reality thought leaders and Virtual Reality pioneers will be gathered in October, all meeting with a collective goal of pushing the XR industry even further, forging new connections and discovering new business opportunities in the process.

How to save €400 on your trip to Lisbon

The event this year is being held at the FIL - Lisbon Exhibition and Congress Centre, which is less than a 10 minute drive from the city’s international airport, and less than 10 meters (seriously) from the ocean! 

Thanks to all the support that AWE is receiving from our partners at Turismo Lisboa and Turismo Portugal, we are confident that you’ll love the venue, expo layout, local amenities, and everything else that there is to do in the nearby area too.

Early Bird rates for tickets are active until September 2 and currently cost €495 for a 1 day pass and €695 for a 2 day pass, meaning you’ll save €200 and €400 respectively on ticket prices if you buy now.

We hope to see you in Lisbon, Portugal from October 20-21, 2022 for AWE Europe.

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