Mayor of London unveils plan to help SMEs tap into AI

DataIQ News

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a new initiative to help small businesses tap into the opportunities created by the capital’s flourishing artificial intelligence and technology sectors.

The move is part of London's Economic Development Strategy, which will see the creation of a new online resource to help SMEs understand and take advantage of the benefits the technology offers.

According to research by CognitionX, the capital is home to 758 AI tech companies - double the total of Paris and Berlin combined - which specialise in more than 30 industries, with particular strengths in insurance, finance and law.

The online portal will offer small businesses sector-specific advice and guidance on new technologies, including how to start procuring and using them. It also includes a forecasting tool to help small businesses quantify the financial benefits of new technology.

The scheme will be supported by the Mayor's efforts to increase digital skills throughout the capital, including his Skills for Londoners programme and a £7 million investment in training new tech talent to combat future skills shortages.

Khan said: "London has a burgeoning tech scene and through our new initiative we are determined to ensure that small businesses can tap into the benefits that these new technologies offer.

“Our Economic Development Strategy sets out how we can build an economy that works for all Londoners. We want to ensure our small businesses have access to opportunities that corporates already take advantage of.

"Our city is a global centre for innovation, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality and cybersecurity. Many large businesses are already adopting these technologies to aid productivity and competitiveness – and we must ensure that small businesses have the opportunity to access those same benefits."