Government: A sluggish bureaucracy or a rapid innovator?

Government has spearheaded some pretty impressive tech advances, such as the advent of GPS and foundation for the Internet, despite government being popularly viewed as behind the curve – especially when compared to the private sector. So which is right? Chris Dorobek of DOROBEKInsider spoke with Kevin Stark, Director of Technology Solutions at NineSigma, about innovation in government.

Government is looking to reach out to the private sector to innovate and share solutions to global problems, as made apparent by the creation of LAUNCH, a partnership between NASA, USAID, the State Department and Nike. Those agencies looking to “just do” open innovation are creating a new model for collaboration, which can lead to a lot of cool new technology.
Kevin Stark Clip 1 by cdorobek

Open innovation is all about reaching outside the four walls of an organization to better tap into expertise anywhere in the world, according to Kevin. There are some great examples of successful open innovation, including the fact that Kraft, one of the largest food companies, owns less than 2% of patents in their industry. A product doesn’t need to be exclusive to be profitable.
Kevin Stark Clip 2 by cdorobek

The most difficult part of open innovation is taking that first step. There’s a high perceived risk, which needs to be broken down so that companies and agencies are comfortable with taking that step. Good success stories can always help pave the way for open innovation.
Kevin Stark Clip 3 by cdorobek

To Listen to Kevin Stark’s full interview you can catch the entire radio show at GovLoop Insights or you can subscribe to our iTunes channel.

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Allison Primack

This is what some GovLoopers have been saying on Facebook:

Britton T. Burdick ‎… Rapid innovator? lulz!

Christopher Whitaker It depends on who you’re talking about. I think the City of Chicago and Cook County has made pretty rapid progress with it’s open data efforts. (Metrochicagodata,org) This has fueled some neat apps (opencityapps.org). However, if I’m at an agency still using legacy software to get things done and have a procurement process from the 70’s I’m still going to be stuck in the 70s