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Mayor calls on London’s innovators to support city's recovery from Covid-19

Sadiq Khan is inviting applications to a £1m Resilience Fund and also wants to harness the capital’s design talent to make a vital contribution to its recovery from Covid-19 in a separate initiative.

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The mayor believes the capital's innovators and design talent can help drive the recovery
The mayor believes the capital's innovators and design talent can help drive the recovery

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is inviting applications to his £1m Resilience Fund from the capital’s innovators to drive forward the city’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

He is also calling on public bodies, charities, businesses, social enterprises and educational institutions to take part in another initiative, Designing London’s Recovery, which will harness the capital’s design talent to make a vital contribution to its recovery.

 

Key recovery challenges

 

The Resilience Fund aims to support innovative businesses in tech and other sectors to respond to some of the key recovery challenges facing the capital. Applicants will work closely with a number of partners to develop their ideas, including: Better Bankside and Kings College London; Ealing Council, Groundwork London, Lambeth Council, Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone, Thrive LDN, Hackney Council, the Royal Docks Team, and the Living Wage Foundation.

Each partner – along with the Greater London Authority – is in charge of one of 10 challenges, which include diverting surplus food to community organisations helping those most in need, supporting high streets, integrating the latest Covid-19 data and travel information for Londoners, and making workspaces more flexible, affordable and responsive to the changing needs of businesses as a result of the pandemic.

 

Partners will also consider the challenges facing workers in the gig economy and design solutions to tackle the inequalities faced by those who have provided vital services over the last year.

“This has been a very dark and difficult period for our city and I hope that these funds will bring together the capital’s talent and help build a more resilient city”

“The challenges we face as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic affect every area of our lives and the economy,” said Khan. But I know our city is home to a wealth of innovation – and so I have no doubt that many of the solutions we need to drive our recovery will come from right here in the capital.

“I’m doing all I can to support our creative businesses and organisations – so I’m calling on them to come forward with their ideas and take advantage of the funding and support on offer.

“This has been a very dark and difficult period for our city and I hope that these funds will bring together the capital’s talent and help build a more resilient city.”

 

The fund, delivered in partnership with Nesta and funded by the London Economic Action Partnership (Leap), will provide grants of up to £50,000 to develop solutions to help the city emerge stronger from Covid-19, as well as build more resilience for the future.

 

Calling on design talent

 

The Designing London’s Recovery initiative will be delivered in partnership with the Design Council and the London Office for Technology and Innovation (Loti) and is also funded by Leap. It will help organisations from a range of sectors work together to tackle the city’s most pressing challenges.

The initiative will focus on Londoners’ needs – particularly vulnerable residents and those hardest hit by coronavirus – to help the capital emerge as a healthier, fairer and more sustainable place to live and work. Previous Design Council projects have included addressing the issues of violence in A&E departments, responding to the challenges of an ageing society and transforming economies to better reflect 21st Century needs.

“By building design skills in all programme participants, it means that innovation continues beyond the projects and lifetime of the programme, building London’s resilience for future change”

While the Mayor’s Resilience Fund has been designed to develop solutions put forward by innovative London businesses, organisations taking part in Designing London’s Recovery will co-create new solutions in partnership with the Design Council and Loti. Individuals and organisations will be asked to express their interest and successful applicants will receive a share of £500,000 as well as expert support from the Design Council to help them respond to three key challenges, details of which will be revealed in the coming weeks.

“We’re excited to be working with the mayor of London and Loti to put design at the heart of London’s recovery,” said Cat Drew, chief design officer, Design Council.Our mission-led design approach brings organisations together across sectors, connects them with residents’ experiences and aspirations, and creates and tests innovations which together can help Londoners emerge from the pandemic in a healthier, more sustainable and equal way than before.

“By building design skills in all programme participants, it means that innovation continues beyond the projects and lifetime of the programme, building London’s resilience for future change.”

 

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