London’s public services are set to benefit from faster adoption of technology, data and digital skills, as the London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) is officially launched today.
The city-wide venture – a collaboration between London boroughs with the Mayor of London’s backing – has a mission of fostering radical and effective ideas for the benefit of citizens, communities and businesses.
The newly appointed Director of LOTI has been unveiled as Eddie Copeland, currently Director of Government Innovation at the innovation foundation Nesta and formerly Head of Technology Policy at the think-tank Policy Exchange.
LOTI’s 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
LOTI’s priorities have been driven by the 15 founding boroughs who form the Core LOTI group. It is anticipated that more boroughs will join Core LOTI and that strategic partnerships will be formed with other public services and universities, as well as joint work with tech firms.
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.
Eddie Copeland, Director of LOTI, said:
“Making better use of technology and data is key to so many of the challenges London faces. 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 and I’m hugely excited to be leading this new venture. 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.”
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.
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney and London Councils’ Digital Champion, said:
“LOTI’s launch marks a new era of digitally-enabled transformation in London.
“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.
“It’s fantastic to have Eddie leading LOTI. He has the vision and dynamism, as well as the knowledge and experience, to ensure LOTI provides a big boost to boroughs’ digital capacity-building. I look forward to seeing the results over the coming years.”
The Mayor of London’s support has been integral to the establishment of LOTI, which is funded by the Greater London Authority alongside London Councils and the Core LOTI boroughs.
Theo Blackwell MBE, London’s Chief Digital Officer, said:
“The capital’s public services need to be able to anticipate and make the most out of future developments in technology. LOTI will support digital collaboration across London’s councils and play a crucial role in mobilising the capital’s tech sector and universities as we develop new services for Londoners together.
“All cities need to think how best they mobilise their public agencies, universities and tech sectors to solve urban problems, big or small, facing the citizens we serve. Our work together takes the next step in city-wide collaboration by supporting the common building blocks – date-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.
LOTI’s launch will be celebrated this evening at Bloomberg’s European headquarters located in the heart of the City of London.
Katherine Oliver, Principal at Bloomberg Associates, said:
“I applaud London Councils, the GLA and Core LOTI members for coming together to create a unique entity that will push the boundaries of public sector technology solutions that will benefit residents.
“The LOTI model will inspire other global cities to innovate and deliver better service to people who live in cities around the world.”
Notes to Editors:
- LOTI will focus on six core areas of work:
- putting in place digital skills training for public sector leaders
- making it easier for boroughs to share evidence of works
- shaping the GovTech market through better sharing of procurement needs
- facilitating improved peer-to-peer sharing of tools, patterns and code
- expanding partnerships with GovTech, Tech4Good, universities and nonprofits
- supporting the adoption of the Local Gov Digital Declaration
- Further background on LOTI can be read at: https://medium.com/@SmartLondon/9b2b0c142127
- London boroughs undertake a wide range of innovative tech, data and digital work, including the following examples:
Last year Waltham Forest launched Facebook and Twitter chatbots which help residents report neighbourhood concerns such as fly tipping and dog fouling directly to the council using their mobile phone. Residents can request to receive a notification when their issue is resolved. This innovation means it is much easier for residents to report issues and for the council to respond quicker.
Greenwich is trialling technology to generate low carbon local energy, create sustainable buildings, and provide lower-emission electric mobility (e-bikes and electric vehicles). These schemes are part of the council’s delivery of the Sharing Cities programme, trialling a range of cutting-edge technologies and smart city approaches.
- More information on London Councils’ Pledges to Londoners can be found at: https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/who-we-are/pledges-londoners
- London Councils represents London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London. It is a cross-party organisation that works on behalf of all its member authorities regardless of political persuasion. More about London Councils here: www.londoncouncils.gov.uk
- To request an interview or further information, please contact Ana Baric in the London Councils media team: [email protected] or 020 7934 9776