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Digital Startups and SMEs are key for the recovery of the Ibero-American States, according to experts from CAF and IE University

“Govtech and the future of government

A new report published by CAF and IE University analyzes how cooperation between governments and the entrepreneurial sector based on data and digital technologies can contribute to achieving more efficient, innovative and proactive public sectors.

The IE PublicTech Lab from IE School of Global and Public Affairs, an institution that is part of IE University, and CAF – Development Bank of Latin America – launched the report “Govtech and the future of government”, that analyzes the impact of govtech ecosystems in the region, as well as how they can contribute to the economic recovery.

The report presents 30 specific recommendations to detonate govtech ecosystems, in the following three main lines of action: Definition of govtech strategies and promotion of public demand for digital innovation, implementation of agile public purchasing methodologies for innovation and promotion of govtech startups and SMEs. It includes a description of the current context of digital transformation and public innovation policies; the main instruments that are being developed to promote these ecosystems; and a diagnosis of the govtech ecosystem in Latin America.

“The States’ digitization agenda was important, but now it is essential. For this reason, we must put our States in startup mode for recovery. It is not about digitizing the procedures, but about rethinking the State by putting the citizen at the center, a citizen that is now digital,” says Carlos Santiso, Director of Digital Innovation of the State at CAF.

“Govtech ecosystems have great potential in the region, where all the pieces are found and the next step is to articulate them. This is precisely the objective of the report.”

Idoia Ortiz de Antiñano, Director of IE PublicTech Lab at IE

In a world where citizens demand immediacy and personalization of services and where new digital technologies permeate most of our activities, govtech ecosystems present a new type of public-private alliances that promote innovation in the public sector. These alliances give governments agility, flexibility, innovation, and specialized private sector capabilities. This is especially relevant at the local level and in sectors where the citizen is the end user.

According to the report, govtech ecosystems in the world are worth around 400,000 million dollars annually, and therefore they represent an opportunity for governments to work more efficiently, while supporting economic development and promoting digital SMEs with high added value in the region.

“Govtech ecosystems have great potential in the region, where all the pieces are found and the next step is to articulate them. This is precisely the objective of the report, which aims to be an easy guide for all those interested in activating the potential of govtech ecosystems in their territories,” says Idoia Ortiz de Antiñano, Director of IE PublicTech Lab at IE.

The digital transformation of governments is finding a new ally in startups, scaleups and digital SMEs with a public vocation. They not only seek financial returns, but also to create public value and social impact. His proposal focuses on its public impact through the improvement of services for citizens and companies, the operational efficiency of public administrations, the consolidation of the digital and data infrastructure, and the promotion of public integrity and the prevention of corruption. They also represent a powerful tool for public policy to foster entrepreneurship and promote new growth segments.