Nitesh Bharosa appointed as GovTech professor at TPM

News - 10 May 2021 - Webredactie

We are proud to announce that TPM alumnus Nitesh Bharosa will start as full professor of "GovTech & Innovation in Digital Government Ecosystems" at TPM on 15 May 2021. This 5 year part-time professorship is funded by Digicampus, where Bharosa has also been appointed as scientific director.

GovTech is a relatively new field of technology-driven products and services that citizens/ companies can use to interact with (semi) public institutions. In the past, governments stood alone in the organization of public services. This is changing with the emergence of new information technologies (such as digital trust services, personal data spaces, big data analytics, blockchain and AI). Nowadays, more and more market parties - especially startups - offer all kinds of GovTech solutions that allow citizens and companies to interact with governments. Consider, for example, digital authentication tools offered by the market and authorization solutions that people use to turn to governments digitally. Or self-learning digital assistants who help citizens through the jungle of regulations and advise on complex decisions based on personal data ànd expert data. The possibilities are enormous. That is exactly what also makes it exciting, especially if certain GovTech solutions start to compete with existing government facilities (such as DigiD and MijnOverheid).

Field in development
Nitesh Bharosa is an expert and one of the forerunners in the GovTech field. With his extensive experience in R&D at several companies and close cooperation with governments and knowledge institutions, he is the right person to further shape GovTech within TPM. "It is a field that is still developing and as a technologist I like to work on new things. I am also convinced that technology offers opportunities for a better society. GovTech will be a means of giving citizens more control, making public services more accessible and transforming the government into a data partner. I want to contribute to this."

At the same time, there are all kinds of challenges. Bharosa: "There is an interesting field of tension in the major transformation that is taking place in the public sector: from a government that develops digital facilities itself and keeps them in the air, to public-private agreements systems in which governments set frameworks and supervise. It raises all kinds of questions, for example about responsible data sharing, delegation of rights and responsibilities, a level playing field, privacy and transparency. "

Towards a framework for designing and testing GovTech
Over the next five years, Bharosa will work with colleagues and PhD students to develop a framework that will on the one hand assist companies in designing human-centric GovTech solutions. On the other hand, it helps policymakers to responsibly assess GovTech and embrace it in policy and implementation. He sees an important role here for TU Delft and Digicampus as an independent intermediary. "Universities and companies lead in GovTech research and development. When there is a knowledge advantage among companies that want to launch a solution, you see justified restrains among governments that have not been able to develop the knowledge in-house. Knowledge institutions such as TU Delft can close this gap by bringing parties closer together." Digicampus, an innovation partnership between government, market, science and user groups, has been specially created to jointly shape the GovTech of the future.

ESS Head of Department Caspar Chorus is pleased with Bharosa's appointment: "I got to know Nitesh Bharosa as someone with an abundance of expertise and academic track record in this dynamic field. He has an intellectual curiosity and drive to make an academic and societal impact."

TPM and GovTech
It feels extra special for Bharosa to now work as a full professor at TPM. He completed his bachelor's and master's degrees here and also obtained his doctorate at TPM. "As a TPM alumnus, I consider it an honour to return to the faculty in this new role. The high quality of education and research that I have enjoyed at TPM has provided me with the tools and skills to pioneer in GovTech. The themes at play in GovTech are closely related to research in which TPM excels: modelling and improving complex systems based on an integrated system approach to technology, institutions and ethics. I look forward to working with colleagues on world-class research, education and valorisation."