20 May 2024

Lisbon: The hot ticket for innovators

Foreign Direct Investment
| The European |

The UK’s Dukes Education Group has made United Lisbon International School its first partner school in Europe – testament to Lisbon’s attractiveness to work, live and invest

United Lisbon International School (ULIS) has become the first school in Europe to join the acclaimed British-based Dukes Education, further enhancing Lisbon’s reputation as a centre for education and an increasingly attractive prospect for international families.

ULIS is the anchor institution of Edu Hub Lisbon in the city’s colourful Marvila district – a first of its kind growing campus community for students, educators and innovators dedicated to the pursuit of lifelong learning. Under the new partnership with Dukes Education, there will be exciting opportunities for internships and shadowing and the possibility for students to connect with companies and other organisations at a much younger age and to develop their interests through effective learning.

As Dukes first flagship school in Europe, students at ULIS will benefit from international exchange and summer camp opportunities, as well as sports competitions and networking. Dukes has superb career counselling, internship and college counselling experience and platforms for students wishing to go to universities in the US, Europe, or the UK.

Totally international

Opened in September 2020 in response to a clear need and desire for top tier international education in central Lisbon, ULIS has grown into a community of 500 students and 89 staff and teachers. It recently became accredited as a World IB school for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP). With classes taught in English, the school is proud that over 50 nationalities are represented, making this a truly international school.

With such a strong emphasis on dynamic educational opportunities, it’s not surprising, that Lisbon has seen staggering growth in the number of startups choosing to base their operations in the Portuguese capital. Startup investment has increased by eight times from €2.7bn in 2018 to €21.3bn in 2022. Lisbon has one of the highest growth rates in venture capital funding among European ecosystems which will be further bolstered by a new raft of startup government initiatives launching in 2023.

Portugal has the second highest number of engineering graduates in the EU. Since early 2015, the country has seen continuous growth in technology and new platforms, attracting European and global attention. It benefits from an attractive startup ecosystem and an impressive seven unicorns, including Unbabel, Outsystems, Talkdesk, Farfetch, and Remote. Their cumulative value of these unicorns is believed to account for almost 15% of the country’s GDP.

According to a recent study, “Where do Companies Want to Be?”, by Savills, analysing the performance of the occupational office market in the last five years, it is also the established companies who have their sights set on Lisbon. Major organisations like Google, Bose, Samsung, Nokia, and automobile manufacturers like Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz have chosen the city for their innovation hubs. With over 354,000 companies headquartered in Lisbon, the research supported by the European Innovation Index, has Lisbon in 12th place in the table of the most innovative cities in the European Union.

Proof enough is found in neighbouring development to ULIS, where Martinhal Residences was 90% sold off-plan prior to completion. Together, ULIS and Edu Hub Lisbon are perfectly poised to support, and serve the needs of the city’s continued success and innovation.

Further information



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