The GovTech lab starts: public sector communicates challenges and is waiting for start-ups

Date

2019 07 16

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The GovTech lab, which officially started a few weeks ago, is launching its first set of initiatives; today, the first pilot public sector challenges have been announced today to addressing which the public may contribute, including start-ups, academia and the NGOs.

‘The GovTech lab is a possibility of looking into public sector problems from a different aspect so that innovation teams that have never worked in the public sector could offer new solutions on how to make businesses more efficient and how to achieve maximum societal benefits. In addition, innovative business representatives that will  take part in the implementation of this initiative will be able to test, improve and commercialise new solutions under real conditions. As a result, challenges and new ways of finding solutions to them can become the starting point of a global business,’ said Minister of the Economy and Innovation Virginijus Sinkevičius.

The first challenges were announced by the Bank of Lithuania, UAB Lietuvos Energija and public body Kaunas 2022. The main theme of all three challenges is the collection and use of data.

The Bank of Lithuania seeks a technological solution which will allow automatic access to data necessary for supervision from market participants. In preparation for the Kaunas city to become the European Capital of Culture, public body Kaunas 2022 wishes to find ways to assess the impact the European Capital of Culture events may have on the city. The purpose of UAB Lietuvos Energija is to find a solution for the automated checking of existing and new engineering infrastructure information in Lithuania. Public body Travel Lithuania plans to declare the challenge in the autumn.

More information on the challenges is available at: https://www.govtechlab.lt/challenges-2019?lang=en

Those who are interested are invited to a workshop on 24 July at 9 a.m. in the SEB Innovation center. Here, the challenges  and possible solutions will be discussed in detail. If there are no available solutions on the market, market participants will be invited to develop prototypes and propose ideas by 10 September. The best solutions, selected by challenge owners and market experts, will be improved for around three months; conditions for the testing and commercialisation of products will be created.

You can register for the workshop here.

At the initiative of the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation and the Create Lithuania the GoTech lab established in Lithuania will help address the public sector’s problems by means of innovative solutions. Innovation teams that have never worked in the public sector will have an opportunity to propose new solutions on how to make businesses more efficient and how to maximise societal benefits. Moreover, innovative businesses that will be involved in the implementation of this initiative will have the opportunity to test and improve new solutions under real conditions and to commercialise them afterwards.

Twice a year, the GovTech Lab will initiate a ‘series of challenges’ whereby a public sector authority will announce a relevant  problem, while start-ups, businesses and societies will be able to offer innovative technological solutions. Using the ‘series of challenges’ opportunities, institutions will be able to quickly find innovative technology solutions that are not available on the market, and will do so faster than with traditional procurement practices.

The GovTech Lab will be established under the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA) and will also act as a competence centre for enhancing the innovativeness of the public sector in the field of technology.

GovTech is a rapidly developing innovation ecosystem that enables business to work out innovate solutions, usually based on the cutting-edge technology and aimed to address public sector challenges. It is estimated that GovTech is a global market of up to USD 400 billion that can be exploited by start-ups and by countries. In Europe alone, there are more than 2000 GovTech start-ups.

Examples of projects under GovTech include smart city technology, from transport apps to citizen involvement in the decision-making process; a doctor’s time-saving x-ray image description technology, which is based on artificial intelligence; the optimisation of requests for the public sector based on artificial intelligence; 3D Virtual Laboratory Learning Platform for students in upper years and universities, etc.

More than 600 start-ups are currently active in Lithuania; however, due to the lack of information only a small number of them work on innovative technology for the public sector. The growth of the GovTech market potential is enormous however: as much as 12 % of the total GDP in Lithuania comes from public procurement, therefore, the public sector may become an important client for start-ups and all innovative companies in the future.