Ealing gets Smart City programme

Eight of London’s innovative tech firms have won £15,000 of financial backing from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, as they work on developing solutions to some of the capital’s most pressing social and environmental problems, including one working in Ealing.

The winners of the Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge (CIC) were announced at an awards ceremony at City Hall – each has been given £15,000 to test and refine their ideas with a group of public and private sector partners.

More than 100 applicants were whittled down to a shortlist of 14 companies, which further developed their ideas in response to seven challenges set out by the Mayor when he launched the contest at this year’s London Tech Week.

The challenges are designed to help tackle some of the most pressing issues for Londoners, including accessing affordable housing, reducing the harmful effect of dementia, cleaning up our air by promoting electric vehicles and helping people lead healthier, more active lives by increasing their physical activity.

The Civic Innovation Challenge was launched in June as part of the Mayor’s Smarter London Together roadmap, which sets out how he hopes to realise his ambition for London to become the world’s leading smart city.

Sadiq has brought together a range of corporate partners, along with delivery partner Bethnal Green Ventures, to offer the companies mentoring and support as they develop their solutions.

The winners include Elemental – The Social Prescribing People who will partner with Ealing Council on a programme designed to get people doing more physical activity.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Many of London’s advances in the application of data and smart technologies are recognised around the world and I want London to become a global test-bed for civic innovation.

“I’m delighted to be able to match the winners of the Civic Innovation Challenge with established public bodies and private companies, and I am confident they will go on to deliver exciting solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing Londoners every day.

“The fact that our city’s tech community is home to some of the most creative businesses anywhere in the world is something of which we can be really proud. We want London to be the world’s smartest city and these dynamic companies have a crucial role to play.”

Partner at Bethnal Green Ventures, Jessica Stacey, said: “Over the next few months the eight winning startups will be testing their solutions together with big corporates and public bodies.

“This competition has been a blueprint for getting these big institutions to collaborate with startups to tackle some of London’s major challenges. We’re excited to see what happens next.”

Director of Transport Strategy at Transport for London, Lilli Matson, said: “Many congratulations to the winners of this fantastic challenge. We’ve seen many innovative examples of how small businesses and startups can help tackle the real challenges that cities face in the future.

“Once developed, these final products will help London prosper by delivering more homes and offering better options to encourage more journeys to be made by walking, cycling and public transport.”

Elemental’s project, Making London the world’s most active city, looks to connect people with physical activity and wellness in their local community that suits their ability level, budget, location and availability. They will use their innovative referral making and referral tracking technology which simplifies and streamlines the process of connecting citizens from a range of agents across Ealing and the Council.

Other winners include TfL’s Active Travel project,Go Jauntly, which is a free, community-based walking discovery app.

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