Taking on tech city
London’s Canary Wharf is turning up the tech heat against Silicon Roundabout a few miles to the west. Just a few months ago the Canary Wharf Group announced its intention to become a “globally-renowned” smart cities innovation cluster with the launch of the Cognicity Challenge, which is aimed at creating the “City of the Future”, no less. To that end, Cognicity has been looking for ideas around sustainable buildings, virtual design and construction and, of course, integrated transportation, with a view to making things happen in the Canary Wharf district.
Up for grabs are £50,000 in cash, plus the opportunity to pilot a solution in a real-world case study with mentoring from leading tech experts and Canary Wharf Group execs. All that and free accelerator space, too.
Canary Wharf has since added Intel - with its Internet of Things and smart cities nous - to the Cognicity mix, with the tech firm providing access to its innovation teams for the duration of the Challenge.
The area is already home to Level39, Europe’s largest tech accelerator space for finance, retail and future cities technology companies, which occupies the 39th floor of the One Canada Square building. And the 42nd floor is home to the High Growth Space for graduates of Level39 and larger tech outfits.
Canary Wharf received a further fillip last week when Chinese wealthy online retail giant Alibaba – which raised $25 billion with its IPO in September – moved its London HQ from swish Mayfair to the Wharf. Or, more precisely, to Level 28 of One Canada Square. And Canary Wharf Group’s plans to redevelop Wood Wharf to the east have also been given greenlit, with the area to get new office space designed to accommodate tech, media and telecoms firms.