Open call to help solve some of London’s most pressing challenges

  • Kathy Nothstine

    Kathy Nothstine

    Head, Future Cities

    View profile

23 Feb 2021

London’s top innovators are being asked to come forward and help solve the city’s greatest challenges in partnership with the Mayor of London, to help make the city stronger and more resilient post pandemic.

Over the past year, we’ve all been forced to reexamine our conceptions of community and relationships with our cities. 

We all want to find ways to strengthen the foundations of our communities, to do away with things that weren’t working, and to create better ways to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time – including how we will live in the era of COVID-19, but also other problems like climate change, mental health, poor air quality, and social and economic inequalities.

That is why we are supporting London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Resilience Fund, a £1 million innovation programme. Last year, we worked with the Mayor’s Office to identify specific challenges affecting Londoners. Through a competitive open call process, we selected 10 challenges that need solving.

Today, we are really pleased to share these challenges and invite innovators to solve them

Tell us your solution!

We want to hear about your ideas and how you would work with the problem-holder and end users to solve and scale solutions.

Applications are open now, and close on 1 April. 

Challenges you can apply for include…

  • How would you help local businesses access and occupy affordable new spaces in Hackney? 
  • Do you have ideas about ways to use data and technology to enable better pay and better work for gig economy workers? 
  • What about making freight journeys in central London smarter and greener?
  • Could you find a way to visualise air quality data and help reduce vulnerable residents’ exposure to air pollution in Lambeth?
  • How would you create digital solutions to improve bereavement support services for Black and minority ethnic groups?

There is much more detail about these and the other challenges here, and you can sign up for a webinar from next week to hear more directly from each problem-holder and ask questions.

We’ll be working with the Mayor of London and an external panel of expert judges to select the most promising solutions to participate in a co-creation phase in May. The innovators selected for this stage will each receive £10,000 and the chance to connect with potential customers, investors and partners and work with Londoners to refine your product offering. We will also provide training, capacity-building and networking events to help you further develop your solution. The most promising innovators will then be awarded up to £40,000 in June to further develop their solutions over the summer. 

To learn more and apply, please visit 

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