The Mayor of London used the start of London Tech Week today to launch a number of initiatives designed to make it “the world’s leading smart city”.

Sadiq Khan officially opened Plexal, based at Here East, which is in essence a mini city – spread across 68,000 square feet – capable of housing 800 tech startups and international companies.

Claire Cockerton CEO of Plexal and London Tech Week ambassador, said: “Plexal will become a truly unique innovation destination not only for London but the rest of the World. The success of London’s technology sector has been built on a strong culture of collaboration and entrepreneurial spirit. At Plexal, our mission is to become the beating heart of inventive enterprise; connected, intelligent and dynamic – where people join forces, ideas spark and new business is born.”

“The success of London’s flourishing tech sector is partly due to the collaboration between entrepreneurs, established businesses, academics and policy makers. As the tech community comes together at Here East for the launch of London Tech Week, we are delighted that Ford is joining our campus as it accelerates its capabilities to develop urban mobility solutions for Europe and that Plexal, Europe’s largest technology innovation destination has opened its doors,” said Gavin Poole, CEO of Here East.

The Mayor also launched the European funded Clean Tech Incubator – Better Futures, a £1.6 million programme to help young companies working to deliver a low-carbon future.

Sadiq Khan said: “As Mayor of this great city – the best city in the world – it fills me with pride to see our tech sector thriving. New technologies are having an enormous impact on our way of life – reshaping our societies, our economies and our culture.

“My ambition now is to harness the new technologies that are being pioneered right here to transform London into the world’s leading smart city.

“The potential for cutting-edge technology to tackle a host of social, economic and environmental challenges is immeasurable. From air pollution and climate change to housing and transport, new technologies and data science will be at the heart of the long-term solutions to urban challenges.”