The Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy for London
The Mayor of London launched the new Economic Development Strategy on the 29 November 2018 which outlines several aspirations for London to be a world-leading tech hub in various markets, initiatives to boost the digital economy and diversity in the tech sector as well as grow the GovTech market. It is a wide-reaching strategy covering everything from CleanTech to driving more inclusive innovation across London.
The Mayor will work with the Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, and the Smart London Board to help secure London’s position at the forefront of innovation in advanced urban services and ‘smart cities’ and deliver Smarter London Together.
In the Strategy the Mayor asks that the London boroughs are open to trialling innovative tech, and use responsible procurement practices to purchase innovation from digital SMEs.
The city will be a testbed for new ideas, applying data and technology-driven solutions to urban services to help address the biggest challenges London faces. He will support the creation of the ‘GovTech’ incubators and accelerators to bring the best ideas in digital public services to market.
An ask to businesses is to engage with the public sector to understand the challenges London is facing and innovate with data to identify solutions. This is an approach techUK is already taking, working with council to help them better articulate the problem and illustrate the art of the possible. We have held a session on healthy ageing and in the new year looking at children services.
The Strategy recognises that data and digital technologies are an increasingly vital component of London’s economy and can be used to better plan and deliver public services, and support investment in better urban planning and infrastructure provision. The Mayor highlights that London and its boroughs need more explicit city data and technology policies to plan for and support London’s growth.
To ensure the data collected is of highest standard and also consistent the Mayor will help to develop common standards for data collection and digital platforms between public agencies. As a priority, the Mayor will launch challenges around data held by public organisations, co-invest with London boroughs in secure data sharing and applications and work to build trust with Londoners in data privacy and security. It states the Chief Digital Officer, will bring boroughs together to create common digital applications and services that can be built and shared, enabling significant savings.
A common theme throughout the Strategy is engaging with industry and the wider community in the delivery of the ambitions. Engaging with industry and academia to develop London’s strengths in areas such as AI, virtual and augmented reality.
Other key points and initiatives include:
- Develop a digital inclusion strategy to help all Londoners benefit from digital technology
- Help small business take advantage of new technologies through an online portal offering small businesses sector-specific advice and guidance on new technologies, including how to start procuring and using them
- Helping to address the major healthcare challenges facing society by working with MedCity and industry to support collaboration and nuptake of products by the NHS
- engaging with industry and academia to develop London’s strengths in areas such as AI, VR
- helping to ensure London has access to the tech talent it needs to grow;
techUK’s Head of Local Public Services commented:
“The Strategy recognises the important role of tech in addressing the public service challenges London faces. We welcome the Mayor’s continued 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. These are all key areas techUK are looking at, and as such we look forward to working with the Mayor and the Chief Digital Officer to help articulate and solve the public service challenges facing London and create smart places where citizens want to live, work and thrive.”
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