London councils form office of technology and innovation
Fifteen of London’s councils have teamed up with the Greater London Authority to launch the London Office of Technology + Innovation.
LOTI is a collaborative body that will help London’s 32 boroughs to innovate and scale digital innovation across the capital.
The population of London is expected to increase by 2m in the coming decades. The new body will focus on digital projects that foster “radical and effective ideas” for the benefit of citizens, communities and businesses.”
LOTI will cover areas such as mobility and congestion, environment and climate change, smart cities, housing supply and poverty.
Together, the councils aim to address a range of common tech problems, including digital leadership, weak data foundations and fragmentation.
Initial projects include:
- Digital apprenticeships to develop London’s skills base and ensure growth in related employment
- Adoption of Pipeline, a single online source for all council projects, to speed up opportunities for collaboration and provide a market for tech companies to understand council needs
- An information sharing framework, for safe, ethical and secure data-sharing between boroughs
- Developing the London Data Store, a free and open data sharing portal where anyone can access data relating to the capital
Eddie Copeland, director of LOTI, said making better use of technology and data was “key to so many” of the challenges London faces.
Prior to this role, Copeland was director of government innovation at Nesta, an innovation foundation based in the UK. He was responsible for helping government and public sector organisations to make smarter use of people, data and technology. He said: “To meet the needs and expectations of London’s fast-growing population, public services in the capital must be set up to thrive in the internet age and make the most of all the tools and methods at their disposal.
“Through building shared capability among the boroughs, we will improve London’s capacity to experiment, collaborate and secure all sorts of important benefits for Londoners.”
The organisation will be funded for three years through grants and membership fees from core member councils, with a potential budget of £600,000 a year.