#CloseUp: Migration Department x Neurotechnology
Even though GovTech Challenge Series 2.0 has officially ended with an exciting GovTech Demo Day event, we are continuing our #CloseUp interviews with the amazing teams who have created GovTech solutions! Today we have two great people presenting their solution – Loreta and Vytautas. Loreta Tumalavičienė works at the Migration Department and has submitted the challenge and Vytautas Pranckėnas form Neurotechnology submitted their solution to tackle that challenge. Let’s read more about their work!
Tell us more about your submitted challenge for GovTech Challenge Series 2.0 and why is it important to solve it?
Loreta: We live in times of immense human mobility (which will definitely recover after COVID-19 crisis) and rapid developments in digital solutions. Lithuania receives an increasingly higher number of foreign clients which have different facial features and thus facial verification becomes a more challenging task to do. Some people might use this for some bad intentions.
At the same time, our employees experience increasing pressure to provide better quality in a shorter time. Identity verification is the very first step in virtually every procedure carried out by Migration Department. Human eye is an excellent tool, but it can make mistakes, especially if it is tired, if the employee is distracted by personal problems, etc. Thus, we need to use IT solutions as much as possible to empower our people to provide best quality services without stress and without making critical mistakes.
Various companies are already working in the area of automatic identity verification; however, those tools are still rigid, not adapted to the speed that Migration Department needs in order to carry out its procedures. We want to have one easy-to-use application which will allow our employees to speedily and precisely verify two facial images in order to judge whether it is the same person (for example, if the passport belongs to the client showing it to our employee). At the same time, this application should help our investigators to find a person in our database by using their photograph. This application should also be “light” in the way that it does not require any registration of any data, and it is compatible with very strict EU data protection requirements.
Why is it important to look for innovative solutions that could be applied for the public sector use?
Loreta: We want public sector to be professional, highly competent, adapted to the needs of public, but at the same time cost-efficient and lean. We cannot achieve both without employing edge-cutting IT solutions. Lithuanian society is very much advanced in IT technologies, we have many businesses and start-ups working in the IT area, thus Lithuanians are very demanding when it comes to providing public services. We need robotics, artificial intelligence solutions, high-tech equipment to satisfy our clients.
Do you have any tips for other institutions who want to work with startups and apply innovations?
Loreta: Think out of the box, be open and creative. Do not frame your idea in some defined and rigid shape – otherwise you will lose opportunities to discover alternative ways of carrying out your day-to-day business.
Think out of the box, be open and creative.
Tell us more about your submitted solution for GovTech Challenge Series 2.0 and how could it solve a social or public sector problem?
Vytautas: Our Company has over 30 years of experience in algorithm development. Most of the time we create and provide technology, but do not engage in delivery of final, end-user systems. Having competitions like this allows us to connect with our actual end-users, to hear their needs and to give advice on all the features of our technologies. A big benefit that this format allows for small scale proof-of-concept implementations, which for us is a great way to showcase our technologies fast and without committing too many resources and work hours. Working together with the challenge owner helps to get ideas for new features to create, for new puzzles to solve.
Working together with the challenge owner helps to get ideas for new features to create, for new puzzles to solve.
Why is it important to create innovative solutions that could be applied in the public sector?
Vytautas: There are many solutions on the market which could be called „solution looking for problem“. It is great to be innovative, but even better if you can solve problems which really require solutions.
Do you have any tips for other creators who want to work with the public sector?
Vytautas: Do what you like and do best you can. It is fascinating to see how simple, but genius ideas work on a large scale.