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London boosts digital transformation of public services

London boroughs are coming together to launch the London Office of Technology and Innovation whose mission is to foster radical ideas to benefit citizens, communities and businesses.

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The city-wide venture aims to accelerate the adoption of technology, data and digital skills
The city-wide venture aims to accelerate the adoption of technology, data and digital skills

London councils are helping to accelerate the adoption of technology, data and digital skills for public services with the launch of the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI). The city-wide venture is backed by London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

 

LOTI’s priorities are being driven by the 15 founding boroughs who form the Core LOTI group and more are expected to join. Strategic partnerships will be formed with other public services and universities and there will joint working with technology firms.

 

Need for radical ideas

 

LOTI’s missions is to foster “radical and effective ideas” for the benefit of citizens, communities and businesses. Its initial enabling projects will include:

  • digital apprenticeships: developing London’s digital skills base and ensuring that all Londoners can benefit from the growth in tech employment by scaling the digital apprenticeships model pioneered by Hackney Council, which recruits local residents into apprenticeships focused on digital work;
  • pipeline adoption: speeding up opportunities for collaboration and providing a single place for the market to understand councils needs through the adoption of Pipeline (the LocalGov Digital platform), a single online source for all council projects;
  • information sharing framework: allowing the innovative use of data to tackle our biggest social and public services challenges by developing a framework for safe, ethical and secure data sharing between the boroughs;
  • developing the London Data Store: improving trust, transparency and greater collaboration with citizens, public agencies and the private sector through the development of the London Data Store.

Major public institutions and agencies in London and beyond – including UCL and Imperial universities, the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Fire Brigade, London & Partners, the Olympic Park and the London Legacy Development Corporation, and the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government – are pledging to work with LOTI as it develops its work.

"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”

"Making better use of technology and data is key to so many of the challenges London faces,"

said the newly appointed director of LOTI, Eddie Copeland, currently director of government innovation at the innovation foundation Nesta and formerly head of technology policy at the think-tank, Policy Exchange.

 

“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.

 

“LOTI has a crucial role to play. 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.”

 

Umbrella group

 

LOTI is co-ordinated and hosted by London Councils, the umbrella group representing all 32 boroughs and the City of London.

 

The establishment of LOTI represents a significant step forward for borough leaders’ joint agreement to support innovative digital delivery and data collaborations. The agreement was one of London Councils’ Pledges to Londoners, a series of pan-London priorities that borough leaders aim to make progress on over the next three years.

“Our work together takes the next step in city-wide collaboration by supporting the common building blocks – data-sharing, leadership, talent, creating and sharing digital service"

“LOTI’s launch marks a new era of digitally-enabled transformation in London,” Philip Glanville, mayor of Hackney and London Councils’ digital champion. “London boroughs are determined to remain at the cutting edge of innovation aimed at driving service improvements. LOTI demonstrates our collective commitment to making better use of technology and embracing digital change together.

 

Theo Blackwell MBE, London’s chief digital officer, said all cities need to think how best to mobilise their public agencies, universities and tech sectors to solve urban problems, “big or small”.

 

He added: “Our work together takes the next step in city-wide collaboration by supporting the common building blocks – data-sharing, leadership, talent, creating and sharing digital services together – London needs as we go through a period of rapid technological change."

 

The process of establishing LOTI has been supported by Bloomberg Associates, an international not-for-profit consulting service dedicated to helping city governments tackle complex challenges.

 

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