Rikesh is accountable for TfL’s engagement with market innovators that includes start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises, academics, R&D institutes, accelerators, venture capitalists and large corporates. By shaping this eco-system of innovative companies and institutes, TfL’s Commercial Innovation function is able to set out clear challenges, engage with the most innovative companies from across the world, curate and incubate the best ideas and then scale them to support the delivery of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. During 2018, several challenges will be launched including the Mayor’s Civic Innovation Challenge which went live in June 2018 to encourage the development of innovative ideas to create more value for the Capital.
Rikesh was previously responsible for TfL’s open data strategy and set up a digital and data partnerships function. As a result of TfL’s open data, there are nearly 700 apps used by 42% of Londoners with over 14,000 registered users, mainly developers. This also resulted in shaping innovative partnerships with leading platforms including Apple, Google, Waze and Twitter aligned to the city’s goals. A recent study illustrated the overall value of open data to London to be worth £130m per annum.
Rikesh also is a member of the Smart London Board which is charged helping the Mayor shape his vision and strategy for London’s smart city agenda and investment in data infrastructure.