Credit: MinDigital

Thursday 26 November 2020 marked the launch of Luxembourg's GovTech Lab and its first call for solutions.

Marc Hansen, Luxembourg's Minister Delegate for Digitalisation, presented yesterday via video conference the concept of the new GovTech Lab of the Luxembourg government and launched the Lab's first call for solutions, entitled "Bye bye Robots!". 

As announced by Minister Marc Hansen at ICT Spring 2020, the Luxembourg government created a GovTech Lab, which combines the concepts of GovTech and open innovation to accelerate the development and improvement of digital public services.

The GovTech Lab is a joint initiative of the Ministry for Digitalisation and its technological arm, the Government IT Centre (CTIE). The Lab aims to encourage and support a culture of innovation and change within administrations in order to rethink existing procedures and operational flows, whilst integrating principles such as digital by default, design thinking or service by design into the development of new solutions.

"One of the strategic areas of focus of the ministry concerns the development of eGovernment solutions and the GovTech Lab will be an essential tool in this field", declared Minister Marc Hansen during the presentation. "The key words of the Lab can be summed up as: experiment, exchange, innovate".

GovTechs are perceived as facilitators in exchanges between public administrations and individuals or businesses and between administrations themselves, which emphasises the strong potential of GovTech solutions for the economy, the digital transformation and the attractiveness of the country.

Through open innovation, the GovTech Lab calls on knowledge from outside the state by bringing on innovative ideas, skills or technologies from companies, startups, freelancers, students or researchers who want to support and strengthen public services innovation. This methodology is already widely used in the private sector and is hereby introduced in the public sector.

The GovTech Lab has three defined missions to meet the objective pursued by the Ministry for Digitalisation and the CTIE:

- Accelerate innovation at state level through calls for challenges and calls for solutions. This mission is twofold: on the one hand, it is a matter of developing, through calls for challenges, a culture of innovation within administrations;

- Creating a Govtech community by organising specialised events: The GovTech Lab completes the existing ecosystem of actors who develop and promote innovative solutions. It is destined to become the platform par excellence for the exchange of digital needs, new technologies and innovative solutions within the State. As such, transversal or specialised events will be organised both within the state and with external actors with the aim of developing a GovTech community in Luxembourg;

- Becoming the reference and meeting place for state agents interested in GovTech: After the CTIE moves into its new premises in the second half of 2021, the GovTech Lab will also have an innovative space that aspires to facilitate exchange and to stimulate creativity between administrations and/or the CTIE teams for the purpose of experimenting and testing ideas.

Luxembourg's Minister Delegate for Digitalisation also officially launched the first GovTech Lab call for solutions: "Bye Bye Robots!". This call for solutions focusses on the development of an innovative solution dedicated to telling computers and humans apart when doing online procedures with the Luxembourg state. This solution is intended to replace the current CTIE system for verifying that the connection to online procedures is indeed made by a human being rather than automatic bots.

The new solution must be simple, innovative and appealing for the user and guarantee the required security standards. All the details regarding this call for solutions will be available from 11:00 today, Friday 27 November 2020 on the public procurement portal.