As public administrations seek to keep up with citizens’ expectations, they are adopting a new, technology-centered approach to modernization: GovTech. Offering a sophisticated, citizen-centric e-governance infrastructure and public services have become the focus of modern public administrations. Worldwide, the GovTech market is estimated at around $480 billion and expected to grow by 17% until 2028.
The rise of GovTech is led by citizens’ rising expectations of efficiency in the public sector, an increase in the adoption of technology, especially within tech-savvy younger demographics, as well as higher accessibility of innovation. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, it has also caused a surge in the demand for and adoption of GovTech by governments looking to contain the virus and limit the effects of the crisis on the economy.
In Central and Eastern Europe, GovTech projects span from digital identity and e-governance, to healthcare, e-learning, civic participation, smart city infrastructure, defense and cybersecurity.
Below is our mapping of govtech startups, organizations, and projects from Central and Eastern Europe bringing innovations in the public sector.
Govtech startups and projects in Romania and The Republic of Moldova
Sector: Digitalization, Digital infrastructure
Founders: Daniel Dines, Marius Tîrcă
About the company: UiPath is a leading provider of enterprise automation software. They are the first company in Romania to reach a unicorn status (a valuation of over $1 billion).
About the project: In December 2022, The Republic of Moldova and Romania signed a partnership with UiPath and Microsoft to accelerate digital transformation projects in both countries. The plan is to create a common virtual space that can ensure the transfer of knowledge, technologies, and technical expertise, as well as to consolidate digital infrastructure in the public and private sectors.
Sector: Digitalization, Education
Founders: Alexandru Holicov
About the company: Adservio is a software company providing an all-in-one solution for educational management to schools aiming to improve student engagement.
About the project: The company’s mission is to digitize schools in Romania, having started in Iasi. They partner with public administrations, educational institutions, and companies to deliver digitization solutions for public and private schools, such as an online catalog, a mobile app, and financing programs for rural schools.
Organization: Code for Romania
Sectors: Education, Health, Environment, Civic participation
About the organization: A non-profit organization that develops IT solutions for society’s challenges. They have more than 2700 volunteers.
About the project: Civic Labs is Code for Romania’s umbrella programs where they develop digital solutions across various sectors. One such example is Dosarul Digital (The Digital Folder), a health monitoring system for disadvantaged communities, where social workers, community workers, and NGOs can maintain diaries about mothers they work with.
Organization: Citizen Next
Sectors: Health, Education, Agriculture, Energy
About the organization: A non-profit organization part of CivicTech Romania that develops digital solutions to simplify citizen access to public services and increase the social impact of NGOs.
About the project: In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, they teamed up with Special Telecommunications Service to implement a digital system through which they simplified the procedure for completing the mandatory declaration request by DSP (The Public Health Directorate) at the country borders.
Sector: Smart city infrastructure, Energy
Product & Operations Manager: Alexandru Gliga
About the company: A tech company, initially launched as an R&D program, that aims to offer industry 4.0 solutions for energy and utility infrastructures.
About the project: As part of accelerator program Orange Fab, the company developed the inteliLIGHT public illumination solution on Orange’s connectivity and IoT platform. The solution offers real-time monitoring of the consumption and quality of energy provided in the public illumination system. The solution also helps reduce energy acquisition bills and maintain efforts, sends incident alerts, and creates real-time audits.
Company: Green Spots
Sector: Smart city infrastructure, Energy
About the company: The tech company offers smart city solutions for the development of urban environments.
About the project: The company’s urban charging station (Green Spots urban chargers) was launched in Cluj-Napoca in 2018, as part of a pilot project together with local authorities, an utility company, and UNTOLD Festival.
Govtech startups and projects in Bulgaria
Sectors: Talent Management and Development, Education
CEO: Rossen Zhivkov
About the company: Abilities is an end-to-end candidate and customer experience platform, helping companies attract and engage talent using metaverse, chatbots, and career sites.
About the project: The company developed a joint project together with Microsoft and the Ministry of Education and Science in Bulgaria to help teachers lead remote classroom training using Microsoft teams. The solution was a digital space with a chatbot that offered educational video content and best practices.
Sector: Defense, Cybersecurity
Exited Co-Founders: Anton Gerunov, Bozhidar Bozhanov
About the company: Founded by Anton Gerunov and Bozhidar Bozhanov who had previously acted as counselors in the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, LogSentinel is an information security company delivering cybersecurity solutions designed to protect against data breaches and insider attacks.
About the project: One of their flagship solutions is a platform that monitors and audits all logs of a system that it integrates with, which was quickly adopted by the Bulgarian e-government agency.
Sector: Digitalization, Legal
About the company: Evrotrust is a digital identity and trust services company offering technology for identification, strong authentication, and signing.
About the project: The company provides regulated businesses and government institutions with tools for remote identity verification and secure qualified electronics signatures. They also worked with the government of North Macedonia to introduce e-identity for Macedonian citizens.
About the company/project: The Norwegian-Bulgarian document and records management scaleup was launched with the goal to help public sector organizations address the challenge of e-archiving. They offer a centralized engine for organizations to tag, store, and find documentation from different sources.
Company: Develiot, acquired by Telelink Business Services in 2022
Sector: Resource management, Environmental services
Founders: Miroslav Gechev, Venelin Garbov
About the company: Develiot specializes in the development of industrial IoT solutions that help businesses and municipalities solve challenges related to water management and air quality.
About the project: They have developed an end-to-end urban air quality monitoring system in Sofia.
Sector: Digitalization, Education
About the company: The company offers an end-to-end administrative and management software platform for schools.
About the project: Shkolo launched their solution to help increase efficiency in schools by helping them optimize back-end and administrative processes with features such as automatic reporting, automatic reminders to students and parents, online payments, paperless tracking of school assets, and a digital grade book. During the national lockdown, the team saw demand for its solution quadruple.
Sector: Digitalization, Green transformation
Founders: Sasha Bezuhanova
About the organization: Move.bg is a civic and social organization driving social impact by connecting changemakers and shaping innovation solutions for sustainable development.
About the project: The company developed a metaverse-based platform hosting the first virtual Ministry in Bulgaria – The Ministry of Climate Transition and Green Transformation. The Metaministry’s will be creating and implementing circular economy policies, develop green innovations, and help make progress towards the green energy transition.
Govtech startups and projects in Greece
Company: Lambda Automata
About the company: Lambda Automata builds autonomous systems aimed at addressing national security challenges in the EU and its allies.
About the project: Their first pilot product in Greece is Outpost, an autonomous surveillance tower, which can detect events of interest from smoke piles, to aircrafts, using the feed from low-cost cameras.
Sector: Smart city infrastructure, Mobility
Founders: Nikos Skondreas
About the company: They are an omnichannel park-booking provider with presence across Europe and North America.
About the project: ParkGuru partnered with the municipality of Trikala to implement a smart parking management system that allows the identification, imaging, and monitoring of designated parking spaces in the city.
Sector: Digitalization, Civic participation
About the company/ project: Novoville offers a free mobile application that allows citizens to report their concerns to the municipality in a fast and easy manner. Municipalities have a corresponding backend system that allows them to centralize and address complaints more effectively.
Govtech startups and projects elsewhere in CEE
Sector: Smart city, Mobility
CEO: Constantin Vermoere
About the company: SMOVE.CITY offers bike sharing and long term leasing services.
About the project: The company also offers a mobility data platform where European municipalities can analyze and visualize mobility data, in order to optimize public transportation. They have started with pilot projects in the Czech Republic and Belgium.
Sector: Digitalization, Remote working
About the company/ project: Austria-based Discuto offers an online platform for collaborative decision-making targeting governments, institutions, smart cities, organizations, and associations. The focus is on generating ideas, discussing proposals, and reaching consensus and better decisions.
This list is not exhaustive. If you know any other GovTech projects you’d like to see in this mapping, send us an email at [email protected].