The digital transformation not only offers opportunities to the private sector, but also to public services. Many public services have already digitalised their procedures and are using technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things to interact with their citizens.
The European Commission has 3 key targets for the digital decade to improve the digitalisation of public services:
- 100% of key public services to be available online;
- all citizens to have access to medical records;
- 80% of citizens to use digital identity solutions.
Therefore, we are setting up and supporting a number of initiatives to support public services such as GovTech collaborations, an Innovative Public Service Observatory, the ISA2 programme, funding for 5G in smart communities and the Digital Europe Programme.
Governments and public sector bodies across Europe are beginning to set up GovTech programmes. These programmes support innovation in the public sector, linking it with start-ups and entrepreneurs. The European Commission launched a GovTech Platform and GovTech Incubator under the Digital Europe Programme.
The GovTech platform aims to support public administrations to adopt cost-effective and flexible digital solutions. It follows the platform model seen in GovTech labs around Europe, helping public administrations to work together and share solutions.
The GovTech Incubator will help governments to roll-out new digital services, promote innovative digital government solutions and ensure that services can interact and work with each other by design. Like the GovTech platform, it will encourage cross-border collaboration between digitalisation agencies.
Innovative public service observatory.
The European Commission is setting up a feasibility study of an Innovative Public Service Observatory to understand the trend of public sector innovation and experimentation. The Innovative Public Service Observatory has 4 objectives:
- support innovation in the public sector;
- support an ecosystem of companies in the GovTech area;
- foster innovation procurement;
- ensure interoperability by design.
The ISA² programme focuses on interoperability solutions for public administrations, businesses and citizens. It aims to ensure that public services across Europe can benefit from the solutions and services designed by others.
5G for smart communities
The 5G for smart communities call for proposals aims to deliver innovation to the heart of local communities. The call is open for providers of public services, public authorities and companies operating network infrastructure who have concrete examples of 5G applications in healthcare, education, public administration and any area of general public interest. The call is funded under the Connecting Europe Facility Digital programme and it is open until 21 March 2023.
The Digital Europe Programme
The Digital Europe Programme (DIGITAL) contributes to better policy making by the European public sector by supporting:
- Projects that increase the easy availability, quality and usability of public sector information to boost the re-use and combination of open public data across the EU for the development of information products and services, including AI applications.
- The creation of digital earth twins (Destination Earth) which will be key to predicting the effects and building resilience to climate-change. This initiative is initially aimed at professional public sector users.