New strategy reinforces city’s status as tech leader Image

MK City Ariel View - Hotel La Tour

As part of its overarching Council Plan, Milton Keynes City Council has published a five-year Technology, Smart City, Digital and Creative Industries Strategy to grow the city’s global reputation as a smart city and home of innovation.

Recent research has put the city’s tech productivity above that of Oxford and Cambridge. One in three jobs in Milton Keynes work in tech, and the city is home to more than 1,800 creative firms. 

The city council recently launched a dedicated tech website to connect and support local firms, and this week announced five start-ups who will receive funding to help their businesses grow to the next level.

Milton Keynes has an enviable reputation as a smart city where researchers can trial initiatives to help modern cities become greener and more pleasant places to live and work. Current live trials in the city involve self-driving shuttles, urban drone deliveries, and advanced radio communications.

Late last year, Bletchley Park hosted world leaders, academics and entrepreneurs including Vice President Kamala Harris and Elon Musk for the world’s first global AI Safety Summit, which resulted in The Bletchley Declaration.

The new Strategy sets out a vision for how Milton Keynes can build on this strong position by, among other goals:

  • Creating a Smart City, Tech, Design and Innovation Quarter in Central Milton Keynes.
  • Generating new opportunities that will create skilled local jobs and develop home-grown creative talent.
  • High profile events such as a new commission by Skymagic – the world’s leading drone light show company – who later this year will present a spectacular new performance exploring the future of the city.
  • Making the case for Milton Keynes to be the home of the UK hub for AI regulation and standards.
  • Focusing on artificial intelligence, data science, smart city technologies, robotics, and advanced communications.

Earlier this week, Milton Keynes City Council and The Open University announced they would again team up to promote Milton Keynes as one of the world’s leading smart cities through the hugely successful MK:Smart initiative.

“Milton Keynes already holds its head high amongst the world’s leading tech cities. Our new five-year strategy will keep us thinking big, thinking green and thinking globally while making sure our ambitions continue to create jobs, build skills to deliver other immediate practical benefits for local people and businesses.”
- Cabinet Member for Innovation, Cllr Shanika Mahendran