Ministry of the Economy and Innovation has launched GovTech Lab in Lithuania, which will allow startups to test their technology within the public sector, according to a press release,
Twice a year, GovTech Lab will issue a call for submissions, and public sector institutions will then be able to quickly find innovative solutions that are not available on the market.
This will be faster than traditional procurement practices, while the ministry will also facilitate commercialisation of the successful technology.
“Innovation teams that have never worked in the public sector offer new solutions on how to make businesses more efficient and how to maximize the societal benefits,” said Economy Minister Virginijus Sinkevičius.
“Businesses that will participate in this initiative will be able to test, develop and commercialise new solutions under real conditions.”
The agreement to establish GovTech Lab was signed on Wednesday by the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation, public bodies Lithuania Travel, Kaunas 2022, state-controlled Lietuvos Energija (Lithuanian Energy), and the Bank of Lithuania.
The GovTech Lab will be funded by the EU Structural Funds for the next three years. It is estimated that GovTech is a global market of up to USD 400 billion. In Europe alone, there are more than 2,000 GovTech startups.
Examples of projects under GovTech include smart city technologies, from transport apps to citizen involvement in the decision-making process, and a doctor’s x-ray image description technology, which is based on artificial intelligence.
More than 600 startups are currently active in Lithuania, according to the press release.
However, due to a lack of information, only a small number of them work on technology for the public sector.
Yet, the growth potential is enormous, according to the ministry – around 12 % of the total GDP in Lithuania comes from public procurement, therefore, the public sector may become an important client for startups.