On Wednesday this week the UK Government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) announced the formation of a new forum which will see “local authorities and businesses working together to ensure that growth opportunities are note missed in a market estimated to be worth more than $400bn globally by 2020.” You can read the full press release from BIS here.

Techworld covered the story, ‘UK government sets up forum to create smart cities’, and the press release was syndicated by FreshBusinessThinking.com.

The Smart Cities Forum met for the first time yesterday, Thursday, and Graham Colclough, our Global Cities Lead, attended representing Capgemini.

I asked Graham for his thoughts about the first meeting of the Forum. He said:
The Forum provides the essential means by which cities, industry, government and academia can collaborate to deliver common smart city solutions.  The market is moving fast – so too must we! Few other countries have as yet taken this level of coordinated initiative. Indeed the UK one of only a couple of countries worldwide taking such a lead, and as far as I’m aware, the leading country in Europe. The enthusiasm and commitment very evident at the Forum launch provides an excellent setting for the UK to get on and do things that can then be exploited to make our cities better, and help our UK businesses succeed (inter)nationally. The meeting was high energy, full of commitments by all parties to do things; and well represented from across the board. An excellent platform for forward action.

Interestingly, also announced yesterday was the Smart London Plan released by the London Assembly, which highlights how innovative technologies can be used to help sustain future growth in the capital, according to ComputerWeekly.com (‘London Assembly launches Smart London Plan’)

The numbers certainly set out the case for embracing this move:
By 2030, the Mayor’s Office predicts the population of London will reach 10,000,000. This projection will require at least another 641,000 jobs, a further 800,000 homes, and more than 600,000 extra passengers will need to travel by public transport at peak times.

See the London Assembly website to find out more about the ‘Smart London vision‘.

Learn about Capgemini’s work in cities.