The two companies signed a partnership agreement at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona. From left to right: Tamlyn Shimizu (Global Partnerships & Communications Lead, BABLE), Alexander Schmidt (CEO/Founder, BABLE), and Urban Innovators Global founding partners Bas Boorsma, Rijn Platteel, and Raffaele Gareri 


BARCELONA, Nov 7th, 2023 – BABLE Smart Cities and Urban Innovators Global have come to a strategic commitment and have signed an agreement underpinning that commitment to begin a new chapter for leaders in urban innovation. This strategic partnership marks the initial stride in a broader collaboration aimed at enhancing education and advancing Smart City initiatives on a global scale.  

The Urban Innovation Leadership Academy Programme, a brainchild of this dynamic partnership, is designed to provide high-end training for professionals, executives, elected leaders, and practitioners in the smart community and urban innovation domain.  

The mission at the heart of the training is sizable: to facilitate community leaders in acquiring and augmenting the skills and competencies to effectively address digitalisation for the benefit of their communities, delivering on the promise digitalisation holds, while effectively mitigating the negatives that may come with that same digitalisation. However, the programme does not restrict itself to a digital scope only. The success of urban innovation strategy depends on an effective convergence between digital and analogue innovations – to include design, planning, architecture, social innovation, place making, urban agriculture and non-digital infrastructure. 

Alexander Schmidt, CEO & Founder of BABLE Smart Cities, states:  

“Public sector leaders are facing more complex and interrelated challenges every day: economic uncertainty, aging infrastructure, new digital tools and needs of citizens and complex collaborations with private sector. BABLE is thrilled to work with Urban Innovators Global, a team of seasoned experts who have successfully spearheaded progress in leading European regions as Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) and innovation leaders in the field. This in-depth collaboration will further BABLE's mission to accelerate change in Smart and Climate-Neutral Cities – starting with an urban leadership programme.” 

In practical terms, investing in skills development for urban leaders pays off. Cities led by individuals with a robust understanding of data analytics, sustainable infrastructure, and collaborative problem-solving not only foster innovation but also experience a notable reduction in carbon emissions – a crucial metric in the global fight against climate change. 

Bas Boorsma reiterates:  

“Urban innovation dedicated skills development, innovation leadership capacity and education in general can be considered the most critical ingredient in getting our urban innovation agendas to succeed. Building the global educational effort as we intent, doing this together with a partner as formidable as BABLE, is a magnificent journey, one we are superbly proud of.” 

Bas Boorsma is founding partner of Urban Innovators Global, former CDO of Rotterdam, Author of a New Digital Deal and Professor of Practice at Thunderbird School of Global Management.


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Tamlyn Shimizu (


About BABLE: BABLE Smart Cities is Europe's leading facilitator for Smart and Climate-Neutral Cities, born as a spin-off from Fraunhofer Research Society. With a decade of experience in the field, it offers practical insights gained by practitioners, for practitioners. Its mission is to accelerate change in the public and private sectors by providing market access and knowledge. BABLE has facilitated over €2Billion in Smart City projects with cities, towns, and regions. The BABLE free knowledge hub connects innovators and the public sector, providing access to the most comprehensive Smart City datasets and insights in Europe. To learn more about BABLE, visit  

About Urban Innovators Global: Urban Innovators Global drives the betterment of cities. It excels at delivering on Innovation Capacity for Cities to further that larger goal. Urban Innovators Global helps cities expand their capacity to innovate by means of skills development, talent outsourcing, innovation program management, digital transformation assessments and advisory. Last but not least, UI Global builds ventures on top of urban problems, needs and opportunities – a unique venture-build program in part enabled by investors tied to our organization and community. To learn more, please visit: