By Daniel Hunter
The Mayor of London has announced a top line-up of experts including leading academics, businesses and entrepreneurs to develop a ‘Smart London’ vision that puts technological innovation at the heart of making the capital an even better place to live, work and invest.
The move forms part of Boris Johnson’s ambition for London to be the best big city in the world by helping businesses to harness technology and develop cutting edge ideas and products that will help meet the challenges that all global cities face.
The Mayor wants the ‘Smart London’ board, chaired by Professor David Gann, Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Imperial College Business School, to look at how the capital can best use technology and data to ensure it remains one of the world’s most efficient and liveable cities.
The board was formally launched on the Mayor’s behalf on Friday by Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise, who will be responsible for implementing its work across the Greater London Authority.
Drawn from London's world-leading universities and businesses, the board will also help to harness the capital’s creative energy and technical expertise to address the capital’s core challenges such as population growth, congestion, ageing infrastructure and reduced energy use.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London has been at the forefront of technological wizardry for generations, but in a rapidly changing world we will need to work harder than ever to stay ahead of the game. We must harness the huge potential that new technology offers us and by drawing on the expertise of some of the brightest minds around we can make our great city an even smarter one too. I’m delighted to welcome on board a fantastic line up of experts to help spur the kind of innovation and entrepreneurship that will secure London’s future as the best big city on earth.”
Professor David Gann said: ‘With the help of the Smart London board we will harness London’s knowledge base - from London’s universities to its innovative entrepreneurs, from open to big data, from libraries to museums - in new ways, using new technology to create jobs and growth for the capital, and an even better London experience.”
Joanna Shields, Chief Executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation and UK Business Ambassador for Digital Industries, said: "Today's announcement and the range and quality of organsiations and individuals represented on the board are a clear sign of the breadth and depth of the thriving digital technology ecosystem that exists in London. Together, we will make further progress in establishing London as Europe's digital capital, and positively shaping the movement of entrepreneurship and innovation that is growing not just in the City, but around the UK."
London has already made great progress so far, with one of the ‘smartest’ transport systems in Europe — from the congestion charge to the Oystercard and the Barclays Bike Hire Scheme. Transport for London (TfL) is also making more and more of its data available - from information about service disruptions to real-time bus arrival times.
In addition, the London Datastore — which allows Londoners to access a plethora of GLA and other data — was one of the first platforms to make public data open and accessible, helping to spur technological innovation.
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