The Moroccan Digital Development Agency and GrowIN Portugal Launch an Initiative to Support Startups Internationalization


Rabat, Morocco and Faro, Portugal: The Moroccan Digital Development Agency (ADD) and GrowIN Portugal have launched an initiative to support Moroccan and Portuguese startups internationalization by signing a strategic agreement. This partnership will promote cooperation between the two organizations, emphasizing support in the expansion of the startups in their respective ecosystems.

To this end, both parties have agreed to:

  • Collaborate on the Planning & Launch of a Moroccan Portuguese Startup Competition;
  • Promote opportunities for developing innovation ecosystems in both countries;
  • Hold delegation trips and introductory meetings with ecosystem stakeholders in both countries;
  • Exchange information and know-how on the evolution of the Startup markets in both countries;
  • Collaborate on the development and launch of respective Ecosystems platforms.

Speaking on this occasion, Mohammed Drissi Melyani, General Director, ADD, said: “This initiative will provide the much-needed support for not just Moroccan and Portuguese startups, but startups from around the world. The pandemic has hit economies worldwide, and we are witnessing the increasing importance of digital transformation and the role startups can play to accelerate economic growth. By connecting our two ecosystems, ADD and GrowIN Portugal are providing a unique opportunity for innovative startups willing to expand internationally and empower the digital economy in both Morocco and Portugal.”

For his part, Anas El Arras, Chief Executive Officer, GrowIN Portugal, stated: “Plenty of Portuguese startups need to expand to new markets to sustain their growth now more than ever before. Therefore, we are delighted to be collaborating with ADD on enabling startups from both countries. Morocco and Portugal have plenty of similarities and attractive innovation ecosystems with funding support, highly skilled human resources, cutting-edge digital infrastructure, and plenty of growth opportunities. Moreover, Portugal could be the entry point for Moroccan startups to the EU Markets, and Morocco would allow Portuguese startups to expand into Africa. By joining hands with the ADD and building a bridge between both ecosystems, we can accelerate startups’ growth and share valuable know-how.”

Both parties have all the necessary conditions to cooperate on this initiative as they have identified the need for a fast-track internationalization process and consolidate their partnership to develop both of their startups ecosystems.

The agreement’s signing follows an ADD delegation to Lisbon in November 2019 and two visits from GrowIN Portugal to Rabat in January 2021.

About the Moroccan Digital Development Agency:

The Digital Development Agency (ADD) is the Moroccan strategic public entity responsible for implementing the Kingdom’s strategy for digital development and promoting digital tools and their use among citizens.

Several cross-functional missions are assigned to the Digital Development Agency, in its capacity as an institutional actor, which aim to structure the digital ecosystem and bring about the emergence of real operators in the digital economy. It is also about contributing to the promotion of digital administration by bringing together users (citizens and businesses), as well as putting in place a normative framework for digital products and services. Its assignment is also, to reduce the digital divide, to support the revolution of Industry 4.0, to lead change in society through training and awareness. It is in charge, among other things, of encouraging research and development, encouraging social and entrepreneurial innovation and ensuring responsible and sustainable digital inclusion.

Also, the Digital Development Agency adopts a participatory approach with all stakeholders (public and private sector, civil society) and ensures coordination and consultation around the multiple challenges of digital transformation and its impact on the global environment (administration, companies, citizens).

About GrowIN Portugal:

GrowIN Portugal is an innovative consultancy platform that helps facilitate and open up business opportunities between Portugal and non-EU Countries through a dual approach to build and nurture collaboration bridges in a way that benefits both Portuguese and non-Portuguese innovation potential.

GrowIN Portugal enables global startups to expand, manage, finance and grow their operations in Portugal. GrowIN Portugal also supports Portuguese startups and SMEs in developing new markets abroad.

GrowIN Portugal is also an accredited Incubator, Accelerator, and Company as a Service Platform that leverages the use of new technologies to structure and shape the local tech and innovation ecosystem.