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London and Helsinki to collaborate on AI and smart cities

London and Helsinki’s chief digital officers (CDOs), Theo Blackwell and Mikko Rusama, respectively, have signed the City to City Digital Declaration, which sets out several areas of cooperation in the fields of artificial intelligence, open data, and digital innovation.

The two capitals will collaborate on:

More than a third of all Europe’s tech giants are based in London and contribute in excess of £56 billion to the UK economy. Helsinki, Finland’s capital, produces almost 50 per cent of the technology sector’s turnover in the country and more than half of Finland’s IT companies are based in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

Both cities have recently set out plans to mobilise their talent, assets, and data to improve their residents’ quality of life and seek to share best practices and expertise to meet social, environmental and economic challenges.

Theo Blackwell, London’s CDO, said: “London has made huge advances in the application of data and smart technologies for the benefit of those who live, work or visit here. We should always embrace the opportunity to share our civic tech innovations, particularly with fellow European cities, as we are demonstrating through the Sharing Cities initiative.

“This Digital Declaration sets out a formal framework for co-operation between Helsinki and London to develop our respective in-house expertise and links with the tech sector to use city data to improve the lives of our citizens. I hope this will act as template for future collaboration between London’s civic tech pioneers and those internationally.”

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