Wednesday 11 March 2015 – Media Release

Cross-sector advisory council brings global perspective to London smart city initiative

Cognicity today announces the launch of a major collaboration effort between private and public sector experts to drive smart city innovation in London and further afield.

Cross-sector body the Cognicity Global Advisory Council has been created to advise and guide Canary Wharf Group’s Cognicity smart city challenge. Private sector experts have joined forces with academics from leading universities and city government officials to drive the creation of a truly integrated and interoperable smart city at Canary Wharf.

Speaking at MIPIM, Eric van der Kleij, Head of Level39, explains: “The Global Advisory Council brings together some of the most knowledgeable experts in smart city technologies, property development and entrepreneurship, to work together and provide the necessary guidance to move smart cities from concept to reality. With the establishment of the Global Advisory Council we will help foster the cross-sector and cross-industry cooperation that is necessary to make the smart cities of the future a reality of today.”

Sir George Iacobescu CBE, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Canary Wharf Group plc, the company behind the Cognicity Challenge, says: “Canary Wharf Group has been at the forefront of innovative property development since 1988, when construction began on our estate. The Cognicity Challenge, guided by the high calibre individuals on the Advisory Council we have announced today, will help us write the next chapter of our innovative vision for Canary Wharf.”

The Global Advisory Council will work together to tackle four major challenges affecting the creation of smart cities: interoperability, cyber security, ensuring that the technologies bring convenience and add value, and their applicability to both existing buildings and new-build. The members of the Global Advisory Council are:

  • Carlo Ratti, Director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) SENSEable City Lab
  • Catalin-Felix Covrig, Scientific Officer, European Commission: Institute for Energy & Transport
  • Camille Waxer, Chief Administrative Officer, Canary Wharf Group
  • Howard Dawber, Strategic Advisor, Canary Wharf Group
  • John Pagano, Managing Director, Development, Canary Wharf Group
  • Juliette Morgan, Partner, Cushman & Wakefield and Head of Property, Tech City UK
  • Marcela Navarro, Director of Client Innovation, Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Mark Bew, Chairman, UK Government BIM Group
  • Mark Kleinman, Director of the Economic and Business Policy Unit, Greater London Authority and Visiting Scholar, University of Toronto
  • Michael Batty, Chair, The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis & Professor of Planning, UCL
  • Patricia McCarney, CEO of World Council on City Data and Director of Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto
  • Rick Lisa, Director, Product Line Strategy, Intel Corporation
  • Volker Buscher, Director & Practice Leader, IT & Communications Systems, ARUP

The Global Advisory Council was unveiled this morning at a MIPIM breakfast considering the ‘happiness factor’ in smart cities. Speakers included Eric Van der Kleij, Mikele Brack, ENTIQ’s Senior Project Sponsor for the Cognicity Challenge, and Professor Carlo Ratti.

The Global Advisory Council demonstrates how cross-sector collaboration will be fundamental in the deployment of smart cities technology around the world. The next meeting of the Global Advisory Council will take place in London on 17th March 2015.


For further information, please contact:

Dominic Morgan, Transmitter Communications Limited
T: +44 (0) 7775 518 587

In London:
Gaia Arzilli, Cognicity and ENTIQ
T: 07772892688

Aleka Bhutiani, FTI Consulting
T: 020 3727 1048


About Cognicity
Cognicity is the city of the future, realised today. This pioneering project identifies and accelerates the development of smart city technologies, transforming Canary Wharf into a smarter, more aware city.

This is achieved through the Cognicity Challenge, which is divided into six streams of six companies each and is currently open to applications for streams 5 & 6. Partners and sponsors provide guidance to the 36 selected companies for 12 weeks and one winner in each stream will each receive a £50,000 cash prize. They will also have the opportunity to pilot their solutions in the ongoing development of Canary Wharf.

The six accelerator streams are:

  • Cognicity Challenge: Sustainable Buildings
  • Cognicity Challenge: Integrated Transportation
  • Cognicity Challenge: Integrated Resource Management
  • Cognicity Challenge: Automated Building Management
  • Cognicity Challenge: Connected Home
  • Cognicity Challenge: Virtual Design & Construction

The Cognicity Challenge is a Canary Wharf Group plc initiative and is operated by specialist innovation experts ENTIQ (formerly Pivotal Innovations).

For more information and to apply visit:


The Cognicity Challenge has been designed and delivered by ENTIQ, a global leader in innovation delivery, new venture development and ecosystem creation, and the pioneer of an authentic, impactful innovation model.

Founded in 2013 by seasoned entrepreneurs Claire Cockerton and Eric Van der Kleij, ENTIQ, under our former Pivotal Innovations brand, has established a bold reputation for delivering innovation for corporate enterprises, property developers, government, academics and startup innovators. We have successfully delivered genuine, tangible innovations for clients such as Dassault Systèmes, EY, Number 10 and Canary Wharf Group, we have led the design and development of world-leading innovation ecosystems including Innovate Finance and Cognicity, and our founders led the creation of and development Level39 in its first 2 years.

About Canary Wharf Group plc
Canary Wharf Group plc is a fully integrated property development, investment, and management group. In two decades the Group has not only transformed Canary Wharf into 16 million square feet of superior office, retail and leisure space, but has also been called upon to spread its expertise in tall building design across London. It has an 11.5 million square foot pipeline of development.