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Speaking at London Tech Week, the Mayor of London launched a major city-wide initiative to harness London’s tech talent in tackling some of the capital’s most pressing challenges.
Smarter London Together is Sadiq Khan’s roadmap for how he will realise his ambition to make London the world’s smartest city, setting out how he will help the city’s public services use tech and data to improve the lives of all Londoners. The roadmap includes more than 20 initiatives, matching tech startups with leading companies and public bodies to tackle some of London’s most pressing problems, including inequality, climate change and London’s ageing population.
Khan said: “A year ago I announced my ambition to make London the world’s leading smart city. Today I am proud to unveil my vision for making that ambition a reality. We need a step-change in how we harness innovation for the benefit of all Londoners. Many of London’s advances in the application of data and smart technologies are globally recognised. We have clearly taken great steps but I want us to do even more to meet the needs of Londoners.
“As one of the world’s leading technology hubs, we need to be bold and think big, to experiment and try things out that have not been done elsewhere. I see London’s future as a global ‘test-bed city’ for civic innovation, where the best ideas are developed, amplified and scaled. To solve the biggest problems our great city faces, I am calling for an ever-more collaborative approach than ever. We need our public services, major universities and technology community to mobilise their resources in new ways and partner with us to make London a fairer and more prosperous place.”
Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer, said: “The new roadmap focuses on getting the foundations for the future right. Digital connectivity is now rightly seen by Londoners as important as their other utilities. We will properly mobilise the city’s resources to end not-spots, and propose planning powers to ensure new developments are connected. We will put peoples’ priorities first through the Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge to mobilise the best in the tech sector to help solve urban problems.
“We will strike a new deal with citizens on use of their data so when it is appropriate to share data, it is done in a trusted, safe way and for public benefit. Tech jobs should open for Londoners and we will invest in skills and support efforts to make the tech sector more diverse. All of this will succeed only through collaboration and partnership, which we are committed to. We call on the tech community in all its forms across London to join us in this challenge.
The Mayor of London also launched a report on London’s artificial intelligence ecosystem from CognitionX, which shows the capital is home to 758 artificial intelligence companies, more than twice as many as its closest rivals Paris and Berlin combined.