Weeknote 4 of 2021

Covid Innovation Fund

The deadline for submission of project ideas for LOTI’s Covid Innovation Fund is midnight, today. The application form can be found here.

We spent much of last week speaking to boroughs that had put forward initial outlines of their project ideas. The full list of ideas so far, and potential collaborators for each, can be found here.

Covid Innovation Fund - Initial ideas - Sheet1

This week, the LOTI Central team will be reviewing the project submissions and sharing them with our borough members for comment and feedback. We’ll also be sharing them at the LOTI Show & Tell this Friday. Please click here to register to attend. We’ll then discuss these with our members at our all-member meeting next week to hear their views, before making a final decision on which will be funded by 12 February. For more information about LOTI’s Covid Innovation Fund, please read this blog or view the full recording of the Show & Tell.

Smart City Cyber Resilience work kicks off

We’ve recently commissioned a piece of work to support London boroughs to better interpret guidance on cybersecurity and resilience for smart city technologies. That guidance comes from central government agencies such as the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), and also standards bodies and agencies such as the British Standards Institution (BSI). Our objective is to translate these high-level guidance documents into practical, actionable steps that borough officers can take to procure smart city and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. For further information about this project, please visit the project page.

Last week we held our first round of workshops with IoT specialists, IT Security and Infrastructure Managers and Procurement teams from Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Greenwich, Brent and member boroughs of South London Partnership (SLP).

The first draft of our work in this area will be available from 12 February. We’ll be showcasing it at our regular Show & Tells, so be sure to register to attend them by signing up here.

Improving data capabilities in London Local Government

As you may be aware, in response to the Covid crisis, we established a new network of now over 60 Data Scientists (and analysts learning to code) from London boroughs. With the support of the Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence team, we host monthly meet-ups for this network to convene and discuss knotty data problems and explore solutions together. The network has become a safe space for borough officers to share code, techniques and technical approaches to difficult data questions. More information about LOTI’s Data Science network is available here.

Through this network, we’ve discovered that boroughs are keen to understand more about how they can use data analytics to solve common problems and deliver world-class public services to Londoners. They don’t always have the right tools to hand, or the skills to achieve this, so we got to work on how we might be able to support them to do so. With the help of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) who have run a stellar Data Science Campus and Accelerator Programme for many years, we hope to identify a common problem that boroughs are facing that could benefit from collaboration.

LOTI and ONS Data Collaboration workshop

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and the recognised national statistical institute of the UK. It’s responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society at national, regional and local levels. The Data Science Campus at the ONS was established in 2017, with the mission of using “data science for the public good”. Our team apply data science techniques and build skills across the UK public sector and internationally. For more information, please see here.

Together, we’ll work with our network of Data Scientists and Analysts in London boroughs to develop a solution that demonstrates the value of data science within London’s local government. At the kick-off workshop last week, we sought to generate ideas for a multi-borough collaborative data science project supported by ONS. The aim of this would be to solve a cross-borough data science challenge and build boroughs’ data science capability. In turn, it is hoped that this will develop the skills of data scientists in London local government.

This is a pilot, but our hope is to develop a programme that can support ONS to scale this to develop their multi-organisational programme offer nationwide, thereafter. The slides from the session are now available online.

2021-10-27 LOTI + ONS Data Collaboration workshop - Data Science Network Meet-Up

This Week

This week, the LOTI Central Team will be:

  1. Holding the final virtual learning sessions for Digital Apprentices in collaboration with Microsoft. You can find out more about the project here.
  2. Reviewing all submissions to the LOTI Covid Innovation Fund. We’ll be sharing summaries of submissions at Friday’s Show & Tell. You can register to attend here.
  3. Holding our latest meet-up for our network of Data Managers in London boroughs. You can find out more about the workshop, or register to attend here.

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Eddie Copeland
1 February 2021 ·
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