New digital co-operation announced between London and Helsinki

London and Helsinki announced their upcoming collaboration, embracing the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence, open data and digital innovation as part of a new agreement between both cities’ Chief Digital Officers. 

Signed by London’s Theo Blackwell and Helsinki’s Mikko Rusama, the ‘City to City Digital Declaration’ sets out several new areas of collaboration between the capitals. 

The agreement has many aims in new areas of collaboration, including the ethical use of data and artificial intelligence aiming to improve citizen engagement and improved public services. The capitals will also share knowledge of artificial intelligence and use this in smart city solutions. 

Both cities will benefit, learning from successful data sharing approaches across public services, 3D city modelling and the concept of ‘digital twins’.  Finally, the agreement will encourage digital innovation by supporting entrepreneurs and citizens to collaborate.

Sadiq Khan, The Mayor of London, wants to see these new technological benefits shared by all Londoners. He is also focused on this happening in a way which protects London’s citizens, consumers, companies and economic interests.

London is Europe’s leading tech hub, with its thriving tech community growing rapidly. This growth is driving much of the innovation across Europe. London’s tech companies received £1.8 billion of investment in 2018, nearly three-quarters of the total investment into entire UK sector.  More than a third of all Europe’s tech giants are based in London and contribute in excess of £56 billion to our economy.

Helsinki is also a huge European tech hub, producing almost 50 per cent of the tech sector’s turnover in Finland.

The two cities have recently set out ambitious plans to mobilise their talent, assets and data to improve quality of life for their residents.  They are keen to share best practices and expertise in order to meet social, environmental and economic challenges.