Speaking at the launch of London Technology Week in the capital, this morning, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says he is committed to making sure London gets the well-deserved title of “the world’s leading smart city”.

“As Mayor of this great city – the best city in the world – it fills me with pride to see our tech sector thriving. 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.”

Part of his plan includes 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.

As well as launching London Tech Week, the Mayor also officially opened PlexalEurope’s newest technology innovation destination, forming Europe’s biggest business innovation ecosystem at Here East.

With 68,000 square feet, Plexal has been built on the principles of a mini City & will support 800 technology start-ups & global corporations from across the world.

“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”, said Sadiq Khan.

Celebrating the tech industry

London Tech Week, which first organised in 2014, is a festival of events across the city, showcasing and celebrating the best of tech whilst providing networking, social, learning and business opportunities. It will see over 50,000 visitors attend 200+ events over the next five days.

“London is proud, once again, to host Europe’s largest tech festival to celebrate the capital’s extraordinary booming tech businesses. I am excited to be part of London Tech Week” – Rajesh Agrawal – Deputy Mayor of London for Business.

Leading the way

As London takes pride in being Europe’s leading tech hub, attracting talent, innovation and investment from across the pound, it has the potential to do even better.

According to a recent report by IESE Centre for Globalisation and Strategy, London is already Europe’s leading smart city, and is second only to New York in the global rankings.

Speaking during the launch, Cowork Hub’s founder and Director, Alex Molokwu, stressed the importance of the tech industry to the Uk’s economy and reinforced his willingness to contribute to the sector growth.

“Here at Cowork Hub, we thrive to offer a creative and productive environment for tech enterprises. Most importantly, we’re very proud to be part of London’s start-up community and certainly, welcome the Mayor’s commitment to transform London into the world’s leading smart city” – Alex Molokwu.

According to Tech City UK’s annual report Tech Nation 2017, the tech sector is growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy and employees in the sector contribute £103,000 a year in Gross Value Added to the economy, the report said.

It found that between 2011 and 2016 over £28 billion has been invested in UK tech, more than France (£11 billion) and Germany (£9.3 billion).

The authors of the report attribute this to “heightened economic and political uncertainty” on both sides of the Atlantic.

By Val de Oliveira