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Tech entrepreneurs tackle London's challenges

Partners in the challenge include Bethnal Green Ventures, Transport for London, National Grid, Shell and London boroughs

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The challenge forms part of the mayor's smart roadmap for the capital
The challenge forms part of the mayor's smart roadmap for the capital

Fourteen tech start-ups have been shortlisted in a competition to come up with innovative solutions to some of London’s most pressing social and environmental problems including housing, dementia and isolation.

 

The new Civic Innovation Challenge (CIC) is an initiative that aims to match start-ups and SMEs with leading corporates and public organisations to solve some of UK capital’s biggest challenges.

 

London’s smarter roadmap

 

Announced in June 2018, CIC forms part of the London mayor, Sadiq Khan’s Smarter London Together roadmap, which sets out how he will realise his ambition for London to become the world’s leading smart city.

 

Proposals from more than 100 applicants were whittled down to 14 companies which will now be further developed in response to the seven challenges set out by the mayor.

“London’s tech community boasts some of the most dynamic and creative businesses and entrepreneurs anywhere in the world”

Later this year, the final seven – one for each challenge – will each be awarded £15,000 to jointly test and refine their ideas with a group of corporate partners.

 

The seven challenges are:

  • Dementia: ensuring dementia care works for all
  • Active travel: reducing pollution and unnecessary car journeys
  • Electric vehicles: preparing London for zero-emission transport
  • Affordable housing: ensuring genuinely affordable housing is available for all
  • Financial inclusion: helping families struggling on low incomes
  • Loneliness and isolation: making London the most socially-integrated city in the world
  • Physical activity: making London the most physically active city in the world.

The range of partners brought together by the mayor, along with delivery partner Bethnal Green Ventures, to offer the companies valuable mentoring and support as they develop their solutions, include: Transport for London, National Grid, Shell, Lloyds Banking Group, the London boroughs of Hackney and Ealing, and a group of London NHS trusts.

 

Harnessing the power of tech and data

 

“London’s tech community boasts some of the most dynamic and creative businesses and entrepreneurs anywhere in the world,” said Khan.

 

“City Hall wants to bring that expertise, energy and vision to bear on some of the challenges our city faces – using technology for good, to help tackle problems like air pollution, loneliness, financial exclusion and access to affordable housing.

 

He continued: “We want London to be the world’s smartest city – and harnessing the power of tech and data to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing Londoners in their daily lives in an important part of that.”

 

“We were overwhelmed by the quality of start-ups that responded to the mayor’s call to solve some of London’s major challenges,” added Jessica Stacey, partner at Bethnal Green Ventures.

 

“We’re looking forward to working closely with the finalists over the next month as they get ready to develop and test their innovative solutions.”

 

 

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