LOTI Covid Innovation Fund winners announced

The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) is proud to announce the two successful bids for its £150,000 Covid Innovation Fund.

Launched in December, the fund was set up to support London boroughs’ response to the pandemic, with half the funds to go towards a project making smarter use of data and the other half towards a digitally enabled initiative. 

The winning bids are: 

Tackling digital exclusion by developing an interactive demographic map of user needs

  • This project was put forward by Barnet, Brent, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark and Westminster and seeks to build on the participating boroughs’ work creating richer data models for better understanding the distribution and different forms of digital exclusion.
  • Across London, thousands of people are unfairly excluded from education and employment opportunities because they do not have the skills or access to devices to get online. Boroughs are also concerned by digital exclusion growing as more and more services shift to online delivery. Priority groups with particular support needs include vulnerable people over 65, low-income families, those who are unemployed, and Londoners with disabilities.

Developing new approaches to preventative support for vulnerable residents in partnership with voluntary sector organisations

  • This project, put forward by Newham and Hackney, aims to build preventative measures to help ensure residents whose vulnerabilities have been exacerbated by the pandemic do not reach crisis point.
  • It will explore how councils can work in more joined-up ways with their local voluntary sectors to identify needs proactively and intervene early, including in key risk areas such as: problem debt; poor mental health of those isolated and/or shielding; preventing eviction; support and advice for those bereaved by Covid-19.  

In addition to the £75,000 for each project idea, the LOTI team will provide hands-on support and disseminate learning for all LOTI members to benefit from. 

Eddie Copeland, Director of LOTI, said:

“The two winning bids are immensely exciting project ideas with the potential to help large numbers of Londoners. 

“The Covid-19 crisis has acted as a catalyst for innovative local responses using data and digital technology. Through our Covid Innovation Fund, we’re supporting boroughs to work together in developing their ideas further and securing faster progress towards our shared ambitions.”

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney and London Councils’ Digital Champion, said:

“The pandemic has placed unprecedented pressure on local authorities and our communities, but boroughs remain determined to innovate and make better use of data and technology to support our residents.

“These winning bids are testament to that determination and the focus on reducing digital exclusion and supporting the most vulnerable. We look forward to seeing the results over the coming months.”

LOTI was launched in 2019 as a collaboration between London local authorities with the support of the Mayor of London. Hosted by London Councils, its aim is to help the boroughs collaborate on projects that bring the best of technology, data and innovation to improve public services and outcomes for Londoners. 


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