In 2018 and 2019 PUBLIC ran the GovTech Program Denmark, a market engagement exercise to support the Danish Ministry for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs in engaging with the startup ecosystem. This involved defining key challenges for nine public bodies across the Danish public sector including: the Danish Safety Authority, the Ministry of Environment and Food, Aarhus Municipality, and the Agency for Digitisation.
The programme consisted of four phases of engagement: i) challenge definition, ii) open calls to technology providers, iii) supplier selection and iv) ‘proof of concept’ market engagement with shortlisted companies.
Examples of challenges included:
i) How can digital technology help to increase the penetration of electronic invoicing among Danish companies? (Danish Business Authority)
ii) How can new technologies provide an automated solution to prepare material for the Minister prior to company visits and meetings? (Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs)
iii) How can new scanning technology/image recognition or other technologies digitize and automate the capturing and storing of product information when doing product inspections and integrate the information with existing databases from prior inspections? (Danish Safety Technology Authority)
iv) How can new digital solutions help gather better, more structured, data from consumers about their complaints, and help triage and upgrade user experience in consumer complaint cases? (European Consumer Centre Denmark)
The companies with the most promising solutions were invited to join the 5-week ‘proof of concept’ phase that included workshops with government officials and domain experts. This culminated in a presentation where PUBLIC gave specific recommendations on how each challenge could be solved, as well as tailored advice to the contracting authorities as to how they could progress their commercial relationship with the shortlisted companies. PUBLIC provided a fully managed procurement service throughout the programme.
PUBLIC focussed on delivering value in the following areas:
i) Finding the best innovation & technology available in the market
PUBLIC assessed the technical feasibility, solution credibility and public sector compliance of over 400 applications from technology providers. 60 were invited for the interview stage, 27 were invited to join the proof of concept market engagement.
ii) Ensuring the solutions meet user needs
In the first phase of the programme, PUBLIC worked with key stakeholders from across the nine participating public bodies to understand user needs and current technological landscape to ensure that we were in the best position to select the most relevant companies.
PUBLIC have been working with the Ministry for almost a year and have helped drive real innovation into the government. It’s a successful partnership that is empowering civil servants to engage with the private market and allowing entrepreneurs to tackle concrete public sector challenges.
Niels Martin Andersen, Former Chief Consultant, Danish Disruption Taskforce