The pandemic and Brexit have altered the transportation landscape and created the opportunity for the aviation industry and our local economy to be reinvented. Such transformation requires new thinking and new ambition. The London West Innovation District (LWID), a new aviation and logistics-based innovation district within and surrounding Heathrow, aims to bring solution seekers, solvers, and scalers together to collaborate and innovate to help create a more impactful and sustainable future.
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The LWID platform will network people and places across the UK and internationally to nurture new skills, develop new products, and reshape services while reducing and ultimately eliminating the impacts of greenhouse gasses from our environment. We will seek new ways for business and industry, research institutions and government to come together to secure larger scale opportunities for new investment, growth, and jobs. Our goal is to re-imagine our global hub of transport and logistics as a driver of new innovation and future growth that embrace decarbonisation and becoming a green economy powerhouse.
Two strategic drivers will shape the future of transport and the economy surrounding Heathrow – green growth and the impact of digital and virtual technologies. As digitalization accelerates, LWID will facilitate develop, and test new ideas in partnerships with industry, investors, and academia. Innovations will be piloted, revised, and then developed at-scale. LWID can be a catalyst and accelerator for new investment, growth, and jobs. Best practices will be shared worldwide.
West London is uniquely positioned to leverage its history and tradition of transport innovation and to promote research, entrepreneurship and business innovation in aviation, creative industries, tech and to help forge a more sustainable future. In time, the new innovation district could evolve to be the “Silicon Valley” of air and related transportation and logistics.
Importantly, aviation is more than airports and airlines. The LWID will help reskill and upskill the local workforce, drive diversification, transform logistics while ensuring sustainable transportation recovery. Collaborations also will support innovations in materials, manufacturing as well as hardware and software technologies, including AI, driving growth through supply chains globally. These innovations will be piloted, revised and developed at-scale, in a network of living laboratories for the 21st century.
Watch January 2021’s Talk at Ten webcast from WLB for more insight…