The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) has awarded £75,000 each to two local authority projects to support the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It has made the awards under its Covid Innovation Fund which was launched in December.
One of the projects – involving Barnet, Brent, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark and Westminster Councils – covers the development of an interactive demographic map of user needs.
It is based on the boroughs’ work in creating rich data models for understanding the distribution and different forms of digital exclusion, reflecting fears that this will grow as more services shift to online delivery.
The project is identifying people over 65, low income families, unemployed people and those with disabilities as the priority groups.
The other project involves developing new approaches to preventative support for vulnerable residents in partnership with the voluntary sector.
It is led by Newham and Hackney Councils and will explore how councils can work in more joined up ways with local groups to identify needs and intervene early. This will cover issues such as poor mental health, problem debt and the need for support in bereavements caused by the pandemic.
In addition to the funds, LOTI will provide hands-on support and disseminate learning from the projects.
Director Eddie Copeland said: “The two winning bids are immensely exciting project ideas with the potential to help large numbers of Londoners.
“The Covid-19 crisis has acted as a catalyst for innovative local responses using data and digital technology. Through our Covid Innovation Fund, we’re supporting boroughs to work together in developing their ideas further and securing faster progress towards our shared ambitions.”
Image from iStock, Natalie Mis