London appoints 'smart city' brain trust

The Greater London Authority has appointed a board of 16 academics, business leaders and technology gurus to oversee 'smart city' projects in the capital

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London mayor Boris Johnson has announced the appointment of a 'Smart London' board of experts to oversee smart city projects in the capital.

The 'Smart London' board will "look at how the capital can best use technology and data to ensure it remains one of the world’s most efficient and liveable cities", the Greater London Authority said in a statement. This will involve developing new ideas and products to develop 'smart city' initiatives in the capital, it said.

It will also help SMEs to seize market opportunities, shortening the time to market for new innovative products and services and providing solutions to partners investing in London's infrastructure and services.

"Smart London is about how the capital as a whole functions as a result of the complex interplay between its ‘systems’ – from local labour markets to financial markets and the trade networks of local firms, from local government to education, healthcare, transportation and utilities," the GLA's statement said.

The 16 members of the board are as follows:

  • Professor David Gann, head of innovation and entrepreneurship at Imperial (Chair) 

  • Professor Ricky Burdett, professor of urban studies at LSE

  • Professor Alan Penn, professor of architectural and urban computing at UCL
  • Dr Andy Hudson-Smith, director of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL

  • John Polak, chairman of the Centre for Transport Studies, Imperial
  • Paul Clarke, former head of strategy for Directgov and a technology consultant

  • Joanna Shields, chief executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation
  • Christophe Williams, managing director of Naked Energy 

  • Chris Thorpe, Entrepreneur and Technologist

  • Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch Europe, cofounder of TechHub London


  • Martin Curley, vice president of Intel 


  • Paul Maher, CEO of Siemens' infrastructure and cities unit in NW Europe

  • Volker Buscher, director at engineering giant Arup
  • Gavin Starks, CEO of the Open Data Institute

  • Naveed Sultan, global head of treasury and trade solutions at Citi Transaction Services


  • Ian Short, CEO of the Institute for Sustainability

The board members will not be paid for their contribution.

"Today's announcement and the range and quality of organisations and individuals represented on the board are a clear sign of the breadth and depth of the thriving digital technology ecosystem that exists in London," said Shields in statement.

“London has been at the forefront of technological wizardry for generations, but in a rapidly changing world we will need to work harder than ever to stay ahead of the game," added London mayor Boris Johnson.

One notable absence from the board is Cisco, which – like Intel – has set up a 'smart city' research centre with UCL and Imperial. Cisco's Future Cities Centre was announced in November 2011 and is designed to "develop new ideas for making our cities smarter, more resilient and more sustainable".