In pursuing its mission, ASTO aims to establish partnerships with other institutions, initiatives and/or projects, promoting synergies that can optimize its performance in the area of sustainable development, within a regional framework of increasing competitiveness of the tourism sector in the Alentejo and Lezíria do Tejo. In this way, it will liaise with public, private and civil society institutions that advocate and promote sustainable tourism, whether they operate at the local, regional, national or international level. Currently, ASTO is partner in two major projects: PISTA and Oblivion.
PISTA – Partilha de Informação sobre Sustentabilidade do Turismo no Alentejo (Knowledge Transfer on Sustainable Tourism in the alentejo)
The PISTA project is an initiative which aims to transfer knowledge in the field of sustainable tourism to the agents of this sector. Beginning in September 2020 and scheduled for completion in 2022, it is coordinated by professor and researcher Jaime Serra. PISTA enhances the economic valuation of knowledge as a defining element of innovation processes and consequently promotes greater competitiveness in the regional tourism cluster. The project is anchored in the CIDEHUS Tourism Laboratory and is the result of an application to the Collective Action Support System – Scientific and Technological Knowledge Transfer contest, in the field of Competitiveness and Internationalization, under the Alentejo 2020 Programme.
Since 2010, the team of researchers in the tourism area at the University of Évora has been producing and collecting information resulting from the set of works and initiatives carried out in various research and community outreach projects. The emergence of ASTO in 2018, part of the INSTO-UNWTO network, made it possible to group the efforts of several researchers with regard to the production of thematic content related to the sustainable development of tourism. It is precisely in this vast area of knowledge that synergies between ASTO and PISTA are fostered. PISTA will facilitate the transfer of some of the information and technical and scientific knowledge produced by ASTO to the agents of the territory, so that it can add value to the regional economy.
The aim of the PISTA project is to promote the growth of sustainable tourism services through the transfer of existing knowledge in the regional R&D system, contributing to the promotion of a sustainable tourist destination, recognized as one of excellence. PISTA is brought about through a set of initiatives and technologies and contact with regional tourist agents, who is it hoped will enable the knowledge generated in recent years to add value to the regional economy.
Oblivion is a supercomputer installed in the DECSIS Data Center, in the Évora Industrial and Technological Park. Inaugurated in February 2020 and coordinated by astrophysicist Miguel Avillez, its performance will be equivalent to more than a thousand computers combined. It is associated with the project of the future largest radio telescope in the world, SKA (Square Kilometre Array) and available to the scientific community and companies within the scope of the National Advanced Computing Network. In the short/medium term, ASTO is expected to be involved in Oblivion, through data integration and processing of results on a large scale.