Mission 5: Improve city-wide collaboration

The final mission strengthens the city’s ability to work together more effectively. All public services need to think about technology preparedness and new business models and services need to be understood, explored and anticipated. We need to be better at ‘building once and sharing often’, promoting consistency to drive quality of service.

The steps we will take include:

  • establish a London Office of Technology & Innovation (LOTI) to support common capabilities and standards for future innovation
  • promote MedTech innovation in the NHS and social care to improve treatments
  • explore new partnerships with the tech sector and business models 
  • support better GLA Group digital delivery to improve effectiveness
  • collaborate with other cities in the UK and globally to adopt and share what works on big urban challenges

Establish a London Office of Technology and Innovation

The Mayor proposes a new function, provisionally called the London Office for Technology & Innovation (LOTI), to support collaboration on the design, standardisation and scaling of digital services and smart technology in public services.

To improve digital collaboration and sharing between London’s 33 local authorities and City Hall, we are examining the case for a LOTI. This function will identify and resolve those ‘keystone issues’ holding back the development of better public services for citizens. Our research with Arup, Futuregov and Stance suggests that these issues could include: lack of awareness about what solutions can solve a shared problem; rigidity of procurement; and innovation cultures getting in the way of meaningful collaboration or the adoption of new technologies.

Often the answer to these challenges will be to provide guidance and support. Through its own internal expertise, as well as contacts with the tech sector and civil society, a LOTI can provide thoughtful guidance around many technology and digital issues that boroughs and other public services struggle with. By employing and encouraging open standards, LOTI can ensure better networks and collaboration.  

Promote healthcare innovation

Health collaboration - The Mayor will work with the NHS and health organisations in London to ensure that all Londoners can benefit from digital health and social care by linking NHS data and digital transformation with other city-wide initiatives. Engaging Londoners in discussions about the appropriate and secure use of patient or personal data to improve the healthcare of citizens and medical research.

There is now a real opportunity for MedTech to help accelerate London towards becoming a smarter city, through work with the NHS and local councils. Wearable technology and SportTech can help make people more active, enhancing citizen engagement and providing incentives for healthier lives. Data of available exercise and arts therapy can boost social prescribing from health practitioners. At the same time, data analytics and AI can increase understanding of serious or complex conditions. 

There is great innovation emerging from London’s MedTech scene. The Mayor is supporting businesses through MedCity and the MedTech London programme. Accelerators like DigitalHealth.London scaling pioneering products and services. Devolving health powers to the Mayor is an opportunity to innovate with health and social care organisations in London and serve citizens better and reduce health inequalities.  

Under the leadership of the Mayor’s London Health Board a new London Digital Partnership Board for health and social care has been established. The board is a link to health and social care collaborations in data and digital technologies and will make its own digital strategy to do this. It has already won funding for the One London programme to connect the record systems of different NHS and partner organisations to improve the care and support of people who move between the NHS, council social care and third sector services. With more than 4,500 health and care organisations and already more than 30 different examples of local record sharing, One London will enable better treatment for Londoners with very complex or serious conditions and support those who need it most. 

Explore new tech partnerships and business models 

GovTech engagement - The Mayor, through his CDO, will work with London & Partners to improve engagement in London. The CDO will develop resources to bring clarity to the London GovTech market and run regular GovTech surgeries in conjunction with London & Partners, the Catapults and others.  

Access to finance - Services offering clear civic benefits will be connected to venture capital via the Mayor’s new TechInvest programme. 

Open Procurement - The Mayor, through his CDO, will promote take-up of the Digital Marketplace and G-Cloud, research the viability of the Open Contracting Data Standard and explore new routes to market.

Tech scale-ups and providers that we engaged through our Listening Tour called on City Hall to provide more clarity around procurement and partnerships with London’s public services. Data on procurement needs to be opened up to increase transparency and access to the market by non-traditional providers. Ideas need to be shared between public officials who should be empowered to be bolder and to try new approaches.


The Chief Digital Officer held a fireside chat with GovTech entrepreneurs at London & Partners during his Listening Tour

More tech startups need to consider how their products might be applied in innovative ways to improve public service infrastructure, administration and front-line services. Public services need to set more mission-led challenges of the type seen in other cities to procure solutions differently and invite new investment in solving the toughest public policy problems. Finally, we need to secure more investment to flow into early-stage companies and the founders who have the product and track record to help transform services.  

Improve GLA digital delivery and innovation

Benchmarking - The Mayor will coordinate and share best practice in data and digital services across the GLA Group. The GLA will commission the LGA to conduct a ‘peer challenge’ on data and technology to align with best practice across devolved government and combined authorities.
City-wide collaboration and innovation also applies to the GLA Group, which can improve its approach to digital transformation and data sharing. Alongside our LOTI work, the GLA Group should also review its efforts to ensure the most effective use and coordination of resources in data and digital transformation. This will also include a focus on new areas of delivery such as skills and health. We will develop new approaches to innovation so this can be shared and scaled more easily with boroughs and the NHS.


Collaborate with other cities

Digital devolution - The Mayor will work with other UK city mayors to advance ‘digital devolution’ in data and digital transformation. This will help to identify common asks of government departments including access to innovation funds, digital leadership support and data-sharing.

How to share and amplify successful adoption of technology will be an increasingly important function for city government. London wants to play a leading role collaborating with other UK and global cities on common urban and citizen challenges. In drawing up A Smarter London Together, London has been influenced by the thinking of the Scottish Digital Office in developing the LOTI proposition and data-sharing by of Manchester with our LODA model.

Through international missions with Bloomberg Associates and London & Partners, we have linked with chief digital and innovation officers in San Francisco, New York and other US cities to show how urban solutions can be better crafted and inter-agency innovation advanced. And through the Sharing Cities programme, we are at the heart of the 80-plus European city ‘Lighthouse’ collaboration programme, with London in the lead.