Spark and Revera are putting their collective weight behind Creative HQ’s Lightning Lab GovTech programme, providing technology and consulting services to government agencies and local councils in an effort to establish Wellington as an innovative hub for government technology.
Brett Holland, Lightning Lab’s Head of Acceleration, said New Zealand is in a strong position to become a global hub for government technology innovation – a global sector worth $450 billion – pointing to New Zealand's public-sector ranking as the least corrupt in the world, and the high level of trust in government.
“It’s a huge opportunity for New Zealand, and Wellington could be the beating heart. When you consider existing levels of trust and transparency in New Zealand Government, and recent successful public-private partnerships, there’s no reason why New Zealand can’t be the Silicon Valley of government technology innovation,” he said.
“Sponsors like Spark and Revera ensure we lower the cost of innovation and encourage experimentation that keeps the focus on solving real-world problems,” said Holland.
Spark Digital CEO Jolie Hodson said digital connectivity is critical to New Zealand’s economical, societal and environmental development.
“The GovTech programme enables both Spark and Revera’s digital ecosystem to be leveraged and in turn foster innovation within government, which will ultimately deliver leading-edge local and central government services for New Zealand businesses and everyday kiwis,” she said.
Over four months, Lightning Lab GovTech will work with participating government agencies to tackle their challenges and provide start-up methodologies, technologies, and technical experts to help test and validate digital approaches that drive innovation.
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) is backing the initiative and will submit a challenge of their own.
WREDA Chief Executive Lance Walker said programmes like Lightning Lab GovTech would deliver significant economic benefits to the Wellington region.
“Establishing Wellington as a global leadership hub for the large and growing GovTech sector will increase our ability to attract and retain high-calibre talent and enhance our international reputation as a leading capital city. We are very excited to support the Lightning Lab GovTech programme,” he said.
Lightning Lab GovTech is open to both local and central government organisations. Government project applications can be submitted on llgovtech.co.nz and are open until 1 June.