Hertie School survey of start-up, public administration collaboration reveals major challenges, but mutual desire to cooperate

From Left to Right: Benedikt Lahme, door2door; Gerhard Hammerschmid, Hertie School professor and myGovernment jury member; Thomas Balbach, CitizenLab; Tino Mittelmeier, Little Bird; Laila Oudray, Polyas; Carl-Ferdinand von Halem, CommneX; Ferdinand Schuster, Director of the Public Governance Institute. Photo: KPMG

Gerhard Hammerschmid presents findings at myGovernment initiative; 5 start-ups present solutions.

Start-up companies and the public sector assume more cooperation will happen in the future to tackle digitalisation challenges in German public administration. But this collaboration is still in its infancy and not without obstacles on both sides. These are the results of an online survey of 42 start-ups and 25 public administrations in Germany, which was conducted by the Hertie School, under the academic direction of Gerhard Hammerschmid, in partnership with the Public Governance Institute.

Slow decision-making processes and reaction times present a large obstacle for cooperation, according to an overwhelming 90 percent of start-ups surveyed. Regulations and security protocols also present hurdles.

On the flip side, 82 percent of government agencies worry about the legal certainty of products and services provided by start-ups. Seventy percent of public administrators say start-ups must become more reliable.

These findings were presented at a recent myGovernment event, a Public Governance Institute initiative which brings together innovative start-ups with public authorities to talk through digitalisation innovation opportunities.

In a “Call for Ideas”, on 26 October, five start-ups presented their ideas for digital improvement at the event at KPMG Berlin; they included representatives from door2door, CitizenLab, Little Bird, Polyas, and CommneX. These presentations were moderated by the Hertie Schools’ Gerhard Hammerschmid, Professor of Public and Financial Management and myGovernment jury member. Over 120 people and 15 start-ups joined for the presentations and discussion.

This was the second opportunity for start-ups to present. The first “Call for Ideas” by the myGovernment initiative took place in October 2016.

More information about the event can be found here (in German).

More information about the survey can be found here (in German).