Boris Johnson Wants Olympic Park To Test Tech For Smart London

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Mayor of London reveals details of Smart London Plan, with the Olympic Park taking a central role

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson hopes to turn the Olympic Park into a testing ground for new smart city initiatives as part of a new ‘Smart London plan’ that will attempt to use technology to solve future challenges created by the capital’s expected growth.

Businesses, residents and universities have been invited to give their thoughts on the plans, which have been formulated by a panel of “digital experts”, tasked with finding digital solutions that will help ease the anticipated strain on London’s resources as its population reaches an estimated ten million by 2030.

Smart London

Olympic Media Centre“London is blessed with an extraordinary array of digital expertise,” boasts the Mayor. “We have more tech firms than any other European city and this plan is about using that talent to ensure that we are able to spur new jobs, encourage growth and respond to the amazing increase in population that is happening here.

“I want to harness the extraordinary creativity and technical prowess of our IT wizards to ensure we miss no opportunity to use intelligent technology to maintain London’s claim as the world’s number one city.”

The Smart London plans outlines plans to establish an innovation network that will bring together entrepreneurs and innovators with organisations that already deliver and finance London’s infrastructure and services, while an innovation challenge would be launched, calling for creative solutions to the anticipated challenges.

Education proposals include the increased uptake of computer science in schools and double the number of technology apprenticeships offered by businesses, while it also wants one of the fastestw wireless networks in the world and wants London boroughs to release more local data – a proposal supported by the Open Data Institute.

Olympic park

The ultimate goal is for London to establish itself as a leading smart city and to sell its expertise through the world through an export programme. The Olympic Park would showcase many of these innovations, such as those in the fields of transport and energy services, and demonstrate how they can improve te life of residents.

“There can be no better place to seek to showcase the Smart London Plan than on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park,” claims Dennis Hone, Chief Executive, London Legacy Development Corporation. “It is home to the iCITY technology and creative cluster which will create thousands of jobs in the digital and creative industries and boost east London’s economy.”

iCITY revealed its final plans for its technology hub to TechWeekEurope in October and already houses BT Sport’s studios. It eventually hopes to offer office space to startups, alongside a data centre operated by Infinity SDC, as well as educational facilities operated by Loughborough University and Hackney Community College.

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iCITY design

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HereEast building
The HereEast building will have the logo on the roof