Government to open London smart city development hub

London is to become home to a new 150m technology initiative aimed at making cities smarter and more innovative, the Government has announced.

The Technology Strategy Board-backed scheme will result in the opening of a smart cities-focused Catapult centre in the capital.

Its aim will be to look for ways to integrate health, transport, energy and public safety services and in turn change the way cities operate in the future.

The centre will receive funding of 50m from the Technology Strategy Board over five years, as well as a further 100m from the private sector.

News of the initiative follows on from the announcement about Glasgow City Council bagging 24m of Government funding to establish a future cities demonstrator.

The London-based Catapult centre is expected to work closely with the team in Glasgow to encourage UK businesses to create products and services that could aid the development of smart cities in the future.

Business secretary Vince Cable announced the plans at the Innovate UK 2013 event in central London earlier today.

"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," he said.

The Government's former chief scientific advisor, Sir David King, has been appointed the Catapult's chairperson, and has been tasked with finding a CEO for the project.

Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added: "[London's] unique set-up including national and international transportation links, world-class universities, leading engineering, construction and digital businesses and highly-skilled staff makes it the perfect place for the Catapult."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.