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Lithuania: An inside look into how it has become a global GovTech leader (Sponsored)

For several years now, Lithuania has been making huge progress in the GovTech sector – using technology to enhance government and public service. Thanks to successful collaboration between the government and startups, Lithuania has a pool of innovative pilot solutions currently underway.

So, why has this small country taken the leadership role in the digital public sector space so seriously? 

It might be a recent phenomenon that Lithuania has propelled itself forward in leading the GovTech space, but the drive for cooperation between government and startups has been part of Lithuania’s DNA for a very long time. Let’s wind the clock back to the 14th century. Back then, Duke Gediminas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania wrote letters to global medieval “entrepreneurs”, inviting them to relocate to Lithuania and to develop their business here. Of course, at that time the solutions were nowhere near digital, but it’s a historical fun fact that perfectly reflects how Lithuania was (and still is!) ready to welcome everyone who wants to do their business here.

Fast forward several hundred years later. Lithuania made another call for a global innovation community, but this time – in a digital sphere.  

Lithuania 2000

Thirty years ago, Lithuania announced a vision: Lithuania 2000. Years before the trends of co-creation picked up in other countries, Lithuania 2000 invited the world’s largest tech companies to join forces in developing Lithuania’s digital state. This became the foundation for public sector services and its IT infrastructure. 

Leading the GovTech movement

Today, Lithuania is renowned to have a strong digital foundation. Lithuania’s proactive approach to accelerate, not just regulate innovation, has led to the emergence of different sandboxes for mobility, energy, financial and other types of solutions. However, the pace of technological innovation and the needs of citizens are rapidly changing. 

To address this, in 2019 Lithuania took a strategic step to become one of the leaders in the global GovTech movement. The country’s desire for experimentation, an openness to unexpected ideas and unusual partnerships, and, a proactive approach to emerging opportunities all led to the creation of GovTech Lab. 

The team working in the public sector is focused on encouraging collaboration between entrepreneurs and the government. 

Last year, Lithuania’s commitment to experimentation at scale resulted in over 50 public sector experiments that successfully piloted startup solutions. With the help of the national GovTech programme, GovTech Lab accelerated next-level co-creation between innovators and the public sector.  Startups and innovative companies received monetary prizes and contracts of up to €53k to develop each GovTech pilot. This incentive encouraged startups and innovative companies to take on social, environmental, and other problems that societies usually face. 

The advantage of this practice is that startups then can reach out to governments all around the world and try to apply their solutions globally!

“We believe in collaboration between innovators and the government because it often leads to unexpected results. Usually, one side has more expertise in the content part, the problems that society faces field, the other one – in IT, innovation field. Connecting these two sides helps to broaden everyone’s perspective, create more evidence-based solutions that respond better to the needs of citizens,” said Arune Matelyte, the Manager of GovTech Lab. “We also continuously consult other countries in the creation of GovTech labs, so that more opportunities would open up not only for governments to solve their problems in an innovative way, but also for startups as well – so they could find clients easier and scale their solutions globally.

To be a part of Lithuania’s GovTech movement and don’t miss out on the latest GovTech news, follow GovTech Lab Lithuania’s newsletter.

GovTech Lab Lithuania is a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Number and name of operational programme measure: 01.2.1-LVPA-V-842 Inogeb LT.

Patricia Allen
Patricia Allen
is the Head of Content at EU-Startups. With a background in politics, Patricia has a real passion for how shared ideas across communities and cultures can bring new initiatives and innovations for the future. She spends her time bringing you the latest news and updates of startups across Europe, and curating our social media.
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