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Launching GovTech Lab’s First Challenge: “Bye Bye Robots !”

The GovTech Lab, a new innovation cluster for digital public services, is launching a call for solutions for a stable verification system in online government procedures.

Photo: With the GovTech Lab, Marc Hansen aims to encourage and support a culture of innovation and change within ministries and administrations / Credits © Kaori Anne Jolliffe / Silicon Luxembourg

Marc Hansen, Delegate Minister for Digitalisation, presented the Luxembourg GovTech Lab on 26 November 2020. Conceived in collaboration with the State Information Technology Center (CTIE), the concept aims to further develop the digitization of public services for the benefit of citizens and businesses through open innovation.

Marc Hansen also announced the launch of the Lab’s first challenge: “Bye Bye robots! ». Its objective is to develop an innovative solution, which will replace the current CTIE verification system, when using online procedures with the Luxembourg State. The objective is to place the human at the heart of the solution.

The call for solutions is being made via innovation partnerships, according to a process that will last an average of 8 to 14 months.

During the first selection of projects, a jury will choose a maximum of five candidates, who will then be asked to develop a prototype. Once the prototyping stage is complete, these candidates will present their solution at a Demo Day, during which a final project may be selected to develop a proof of concept (PoC). The candidate will have four months to finalize his PoC and his solution, which can then be purchased by the CTIE in case it is selected.

The planned schedule for the challenge “Bye Bye robots! » :

  • Submission of files: January 4, 2021
  • Pre-selection finalized on January 15, 2021
  • Beginning of the prototyping phase: end of January 2021
  • Demo Day: mid-March 2021
  • Start of POC phase: mid-March 2021
  • POC Presentation: July 2021

“The GovTech Lab will become the platform par excellence for the exchange of digital needs, new technologies and innovative solutions within the State.”

Open Innovation

The concept of the Luxembourg GovTech Lab is based on open innovation, through the use of innovative external solutions, ideas and knowledge (technological or conceptual) from companies, start-ups, independents/freelancers, students or researchers.

“The Lab aims to encourage and support a culture of innovation and change within ministries and administrations in order to rethink existing procedures and operational flows, and integrate principles such as digital by default, design thinking or service by design in the design of new solutions,” explained Marc Hansen.

The organization has three missions. The first is to accelerate innovation with the State through calls for solutions/challenges. “It will develop a culture of innovation within the administration, through calls for challenges,” Marc Hansen added. “One or more public administrations can send us challenges that could be improved or solved using innovative solutions (digital, technological or conceptual).

Once the challenge has been submitted to the Ministry for Digitalisation, the latter will launch a call for solutions (called a challenge) via the Public Procurement Portal to external players in order to implement innovative responses. The GovTech Lab will launch an average of two challenges per year.

The second is to create a GovTech community in Luxembourg through specialized events: “The GovTech Lab will become the platform par excellence for the exchange of digital needs, new technologies and innovative solutions within the State,” said the Minister Delegate for Digitalization.

With this objective, transversal or specialized events – hackathons, specialized days, GovJams or co-creative workshops – will be organized, in particular with external actors.

Third mission: to become the reference and meeting place for agents interested in GovTech: “The GovTech Lab is intended to be an innovative space, which aims to facilitate exchange and stimulate creativity between administrations and/or CTIE teams in order to experiment and test ideas,” continued Marc Hansen. “It is these synergies and collaborations that reflect its open and innovative spirit.

Other challenges in the pipeline

The latter has identified three promising ideas for upcoming challenges that are the result of discussions with other departments and administrations : a speech to text solution for automated voice transcription and real-time multilingual translation, which optimizes or makes accessible the audio content of press conferences, interviews, meetings and debates; a voice assistant (phonebot) capable of talking to a caller over the phone to understand his or her problems and solve it autonomously; and a digital system for securely sharing diplomas and automatically verifying their authenticity by recruitment services (digital wallet).

For more information about the Lab and upcoming challenges: govtechlab.lu

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