Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has outlined plans to make the capital the “world’s leading smart city” as he launched London Technology Week.
Mr Khan unveiled a new £1.6 million clean technology incubator called Better Futures that will help 100 London business to deliver technology to battle pollution and climate change.
A new tech innovation centre – Plexal – was also opened in east London, which Mr Khan said would support up to 800 start-ups and other businesses, as part of plans to entice firms to the city.
“My ambition now is to harness the new technologies that are being pioneered right here to transform London into the world’s leading smart city,” Mr Khan said.
“The potential for cutting-edge technology to tackle a host of social, economic and environmental challenges is immeasurable.
“From air pollution and climate change to housing and transport, new technologies and data science will be at the heart of the long-term solutions to urban challenges.”
London Technology Week, first organised in 2014, is a festival of events across the city celebrating the technology industry.
The week of events include coding workshops and drone racing from the professional Drone Racing League (DRL).
“As mayor of this great city – the best city in the world – it fills me with pride to see our tech sector thriving,” Mr Khan said. “New technologies are having an enormous impact on our way of life – reshaping our societies, our economies and our culture.”
The mayor also confirmed plans to appoint a chief digital officer, who will work with local authorities and technology businesses on policy for the industry. A programme to develop new technology to improve the lives of those living with disabilities was also announced.
Paralympic gold medallist Lord Chris Holmes, who will chair the new Global Disability Innovation Hub, said: “I am absolutely delighted to chair the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) and to be a part of a project with such potential to transform lives.
“I have personally benefited from assistive technology and believe truly inclusive design not only removes barriers to disabled people but also, essentially, benefits everyone by leading to ground breaking technological solutions or applications and truly excellent design.”