Open call to innovators across London to support recovery

From tech companies to local community groups: at City Hall we’re looking for passionate people and organisations with great ideas that will really make a difference to the future of Londoners today.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched Designing London’s Recovery, an open innovation challenge programme that puts design-led innovation at the heart of London’s recovery from COVID-19. This aims to support the city’s big missions on Helping Londoners into Good Work (jobs & skills), Building Strong Communities (social & inclusion projects), a Green New Deal (green transition), and High Streets for All (local economy).

We believe solutions to London’s biggest challenges don’t just come from the public sector alone but by working closely with innovators and Londoners directly from across the city.

Innovation briefs based on the priorities of London’s Recovery Programme have been created to inspire innovators from all sectors to focus thinking and get started.

20 finalists, who must be London-based, will form multi-disciplinary Innovation Teams that will work closely with City Hall boroughs and London’s communities to co-design and test solutions with expert coaching, mentoring and support.

From these finalists, 6–8 teams will be selected to receive funding to design, test and scale up solutions with continued support from Design Council through 2022.

Innovators will have the chance to bid for funding to design, test and scale up your solutions with continued support through 2022, and:

Ideas in response to the brief can be submitted by an Expression of Interest on our Challenge page — we’re also holding roundtables (see below).

Why apply

Call is open

The Call is open from 16 March 2021 and closes at Midday (12:00 GMT) on 30 June 2021.


Register to attend our upcoming Roundtables, where you’ll hear from a panel of inspirational speakers that will share their experiences and insights of the missions taking part in this Challenge — Helping Londoners into Good Work, Building Strong Communities, a Green New Deal, and High Streets for All:

May 28, 10:30–12:00pm

Designing London’s Recovery Launch Event: Brief One & Two:

June 11, 10:30–12:00pm

Designing London’s Recovery Launch Event: Brief Three:

Programme Timeline

PHASE 1 — Open Call

Submit an Expression of Interest detailing your reasons for joining the Challenge and your response to the Innovation Brief.

PHASE 2 — Co-creating Solutions

Innovation Teams will be selected in June. Teams will participate in 4 workshops, 1 per month from July — October and receive dedicated coaching and mentoring support to help develop ideas further.

At the end of Phase 2 in November 2021, Teams will be able to submit applications for grants to fund the prototyping, testing, and scale up of the most promising solutions, with continued expert support through 2022.

PHASE 3 — Designing for Impact

Innovation Teams who are successful in their funding application will be supported to prototype, develop, and implement their ideas.

@MayorofLondon CDO & Smart London Board putting data & technology at the heart of making London an even better place to live, work and visit