On 13 December Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched ‘The Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy for London’ which sets out how he will achieve and foster economic growth whilst also creating a fair and competitive environment that enables business to thrive and succeed. Building on his Manifesto pledges, the Mayor also commits to promoting innovation and the adoption of cutting edge digital technologies across the economy, to help raise productivity and transform London into one of the world’s leading smart cities.
At the heart of the strategy is also greater collaboration between the public sector and the private sector, with a focus on co-designing and co-developing policy, to ensure London has the housing, transport, infrastructure, technology, jobs and skills we need for everyone to prosper in the 21st Century.
Key initiatives from the Strategy looking to improve the environment for local government transformation include:
- Put open data at the heart of London’s government. Through the London Datastore, the Greater London Authority will continue to make more of its data accessible to the public.
- The Mayor will work with boroughs, NHS trusts and other public service providers to help improve data-sharing and analytics through projects such as the London Office for Data Analytics (LODA), and work to seed the future application of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Scope a collaborative model through the London Office for Technology & Innovation (LOTI) to promote agreed standards, develop better digital capabilities and improve procurement between participating boroughs to enable public services to meet London-wide challenges, like improving air quality, improving the public realm or tackling homelessness.
- The Mayor will help to develop common standards for data collection and digital platforms between public agencies.
Support for Start-Ups and SMEs
- New £100m Small Medium Enterprises (SME) fund to invest in growing businesses
- Launch of Civic Innovation Challenge for small tech companies addressing issues on inequality, climate change and ageing population.
Using Tech to Address Public Service Challenges
- The Mayor will support the creation of ‘GovTech’ incubators and accelerators to bring the best ideas in digital public services to market, and he will support investment in urban demonstrators to showcase these solutions across the city, which if successful will be exported to other global cities.
- Use the public procurement power of the GLA Group, the boroughs and public services will create further demand and opportunities for coinvestment in digitalised public services and smart city technologies.
- A call to action to government departments, including the Government Digital Service and GovTech Catalyst, to collaborate with the Mayor and the Boroughs to improve digital public services and smart city technologies.
techUK’s Programme Manager for Local Government Georgina Maratheftis comments:
“The Strategy recognises the important role of tech in addressing the public service challenges London faces. We welcome the Mayor’s commitment to bring the best ideas in digital public services to market and creating the environment for an open and level playing field for industry. techUK looks forward to working with the Mayor to help articulate and solve the public service challenges facing London and create smart places where citizens want to live, work and thrive.”