Infrastructure > Cloud

GLA scopes out creating London Office of Technology and Innovation

David Bicknell Published 04 May 2017

Exercise will explore potential for London’s public services to co-ordinate innovation efforts in data, digital and technology; partner sought with closing date for applications of May 17


The Greater London Authority (GLA) and London councils are looking to carry out a “scoping exercise” for the provision of a London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) and want a partner to help.

They are looking for the partner to provide expertise in strategy, digital capability assessments, and organisational change.

The scoping exercise intends to explore the potential for London’s public services to co-ordinate their innovation efforts in data, digital and technology. It hopes to establish the business case and potential operating model for LOTI as well as the “appetite for and gain to be accrued by the GLA and the London boroughs from existing and future workstreams.”

A Digital Marketplace document suggests LOTI will “amplify existing efforts and create new areas of joint working in the transformation of public services.” The goal, it argues, is to have more effective and efficient services in London designed around community need.

The document explains that London “has many good examples of collaborative applications of data, digital and technology to improve decision making and public services, and drive urban innovation. LOTI should increase sharing of good practice. It should encourage the development and adoption of common standards and approaches from data to service design. This avoids duplication and boosts innovation. LOTI will present a stronger ‘demand picture’ from London’s public services to be presented to the London technology ecosystem. Finally, as new and disruptive business models emerge, London’s public services need to be able to anticipate and be ready for future technology developments.”

The users of LOTI are expected to be the Greater London Authority, London councils, and participating London borough authorities, though the participation of other public service authorities in London in a LOTI is expected to be welcomed.

The deadline for asking questions is next Wednesday, May 10, with applications due a week later on May 17.

A blog by Andrew Collinge, assistant director of the GLA, entitled The ‘Start of the Possible’ argues that “among local councillors there is a growing appreciation of the transformative effect of all of data, digital and technology on the quality and efficiency of public services.” So, he went on, “the time now feels now right to announce the procurement of a scoping exercise for a London Office of Technology and Innovation (aka LOTI).”

Describing the “fronts” opening up, Collinge explained, “With Nesta and the ASI, the GLA and a group of 6 London Boroughs are reaching the end of a London Office of Data Analytics pilot (LODA*). The aims of the exercise are first, to create a data sharing culture, and second, to prove the impact machine learning techniques; in this case in identifying undeclared homes of multiple occupancy (HMOs), where fraudulent landlords could potentially be making tenants’ lives miserable and dangerous.”

It went on, “As well as promoting a range of shared services in education, the London Grid for Learning has since September 2016 used the power of aggregated data to identify £8m of potential Pupil Premium claims for hard-pressed families.

  •     “In Digital Greenwich, the Council has established its own delivery arm, to spur ‘smart’ initiatives from self-driving shuttles, to transform services like adult social care, and to incubate digital businesses.
  •     “The Local Government Digital Service Standard is at the forefront of developing the common standards needed to create the high quality digital services of the future.

“There are numerous other examples of how authorities – normally through groupings of forward thinking CIOs and supportive politics, or enterprises like London Ventures – are sharing thinking and capacity to transform services and adapt ‘core business’ activities like procurement.  All are contributing to a change in the way services are designed and delivered to better meet the needs London’s communities and businesses.

It continued, "That said, it feels that there is more potential to be unlocked, if we can strengthen collaboration in a way that recognises the potential of technology to deliver at scale and across boundaries.  Technology (think cloud) pays no attention to them; nor, given half a chance, does data.  Further, the communities we serve roam freely across them, so why should we in the public services not attempt to work across them to meet common challenges, share opportunities and ultimately deliver collective, significant efficiencies?”

(Picture courtesy of GLA website)

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