Sadiq launches Smart City programme

Sadiq Khan has launched a major city-wide initiative to harness London’s tech talent in tackling some of the capital’s most pressing challenges – including poor air quality, urban design and digital connectivity.

The Mayor of London was speaking at the launch of London Tech Week 2018, which showcases the city as Europe’s tech capital across more than 200 events attended by 50,000 people from around the world.

Sadiq also launched a new piece of research that underline London’s position as a leading tech hub. He 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.

And figures collated by Pitchbook have revealed that UK tech companies received more than £5 billion in Venture Capital funding since the EU referendum – more than France, Germany and Sweden combined – of which London attracted more than £4 billion.

Today the Mayor published Smarter London Together – his roadmap for how he will aim to make London the world’s smartest city. In it the Mayor sets 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 – one of which is the Civic Innovation Challenge, which he hopes will play a major role in establishing London as a test-bed for technological innovation, as well as supporting the development of smart infrastructure and attracting investment in dynamic new businesses. It will aim to match 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.

Among Sadiq’s plans are a new approach to connectivity, including proposing planning powers for full fibre connectivity to all new homes, working with Transport for London (TfL) and councils to roll out 4G using public buildings and existing physical infrastructure, and supporting bids for government funding to test 5G connectivity.

He is also supporting the commission of a new generation of smart technology (such as lamp posts incorporating air quality sensors, publicly-accessible WIFI and electric vehicle charging points), and proposals to develop a pan-London cyber-security strategy.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “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.”