A £150m project to boost the use of smart city technologies in London and other UK cities on health, transport, energy and public safety services, has been unveiled by the government.
The Future Cities Catapult centre in London is the latest part of the project and will been given an initial budget of £50m over the next five years by the Technology Strategy Board.
However, with additional private sector input, the government said it expects funding to rise to £150m.
Business secretary Vince Cable announced the launch of the centre on Tuesday, confirming the London centre is to be one of seven Catapults across the UK.
Each Catapult is a technology and innovation centre where UK businesses, scientists and engineers can collaborate on research and development.
The government predicts the Catapults programme will attract more than £1bn in public and private sector investment over the next few years. Each Catapult centre focuses on an area the government has identified as having potential for the UK to gain a competitive advantage globally.
The London centre is focussed on creating a smart city and is one of the last Catapults to open, along with one that will focus on transport systems.
"This latest addition to the Catapults network will complement those established in high value manufacturing, satellite applications, cell therapy, offshore renewable energy, transport systems and connected digital economy," said Cable.
"The Future Cities Catapult centre will be hosted in London, working in collaboration with the Future Cities demonstrator project in Glasgow."
Cable was referring to the project Glasgow city council won £24 million of government funding for in January to make the Scottish capital one of the UK's first smart cities.
For example, the Glasgow Future Cities demonstrator aims to create real-time reporting apps for areas such as traffic and crime. Intel is also already involved in a project to gather more data on London using smart city systems.
The chair of the London Future Cities Catapult centre is to be Sir David King, previously the chief scientific advisor to the government where he worked closely with then prime minister Tony Blair on issues such as climate change.
King is currently looking to recruit a chief executive for the Catapult centre. Meanwhile the Technology Strategy Board is in the process of selecting suitable premises for the centre.
The Technology Strategy Board is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and has an objective to stimulate business-led innovation.
Yesterday the board announced £60m in funding for UK start-ups in the areas of biotech, energy efficiency, health and the ‘internet of things.
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