London mayor Sadiq Khan taps ex-NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg's consultancy to help draft smart city strategy

 
Lynsey Barber
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Plans to make London smarter with technology are in the works (Source: Getty)

The Mayor of London is tapping the former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg to boost the capital's plans to become a tech driven connected "smart city".

Sadiq Khan will today announce that Bloomberg's consultancy which he launched after leaving office in 2013, Bloomberg Associates, will help draft a Smart London Plan that is expected to be unveiled next year.

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The billionaire's firm advises cities around the world for free on tackling challenges such as transport, sustainability and infrastructure. London's strategy for using data and fostering digital innovation to improve the capital and its economy was originally launched in 2013 under former mayor Boris Johnson.

It comes as recently published research put Bristol ahead of London as the leading smart city in the UK and as the capital's record on transport innovation was knocked by several startups who have met with regulatory challenges.

But the mayor will signal new efforts to boost the capital's tech credentials on Thursday morning speaking at the opening of the Wired Live conference, where he will also announce hundreds of thousands of pounds in fresh cash to help startups get investment.

City Hall will work with the UK British Angels Associations (UKBAA) on 20 investment day events over the next four years, centred around different areas of tech and where startups and investors will be connected. £280,000 of funding will come from local government and be matched by the UKBAA.

Read more: Google's building its own smart city in Toronto. Why not London next?

“With the two initiatives I’m announcing today, we will enable startups to grow and develop, as well as harness the expertise and innovative across our tech sector to help make life better for all Londoners," Khan will say.

Boss of the UKBAA Jenny Tooth added: "This will enable these businesses to access the finance they need to successfully build and scale."

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