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Belfast Digital Innovation Partnership

13. March 2023

Solution provider

BABLE Smart Cities

BABLE provides business and technology services for smart city green solutions. We create automated services that simplify and offer expert advice to guide transition, development and scaling. Our online Smart City solutions platform, free to join and use, provides companies and cities with information and inspiration on urban green solutions that work.

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BABLE Smart Cities helped to foster a transition towards greater sustainability and innovation leadership in the City of Belfast, through the creation of a digital innovation partnership.

The City of Belfast was missing a way to bring together all the important leading institutions of the region, to bring about lasting sustainable and smart city innovation.

It was determined that a Triple-Helix partnership (Public-Private-Academia) would be the most suitable way of providing this long-term innovative leadership. Such a model of innovation brings together key elements of academia, governance and industry, maximising socio-economic development through their interactions.


The solution for providing support for this transition to a Triple-Helix was divided into two main tasks.

The first task involved guiding and supporting the implementation of a Triple-Helix Governance Board for the Belfast Digital Innovation Partnership. This involved identifying common interests within the various involved organisations, hosting workshops and individual meetings to ascertain the potential for joint initiatives and opportunity progression.

The second task saw the development of the first instance of the Triple-Helix working agenda as a framework for this partnership. This task followed on naturally with the previous knowledge gathering process. A roadmap to implement the partnership agenda was delicately brought together, ensuring each of the partner organisations satisfaction.



The Belfast Digital Innovation Partnership was successfully introduced with the involvement of all agreed upon organisations, with the publishing of a city-wide Triple-Helix Governance Framework.

The created roadmap during the implementation process had highlighted a number of common initiatives, which with consent of the Triple-Helix Governance Board, were able to be proceeded on, tackling some of the most complex urban challenges in the city and surrounding area.

The culture of collaboration enabled through the creation of the partnership has helped support the many aspects of Belfast’s urban innovation ecosystem, making the city better equipped to develop in a sustainable and socio-economically beneficial way for all.

Most notably, the partnership led to the creation of the Belfast Smart District project, developing a major innovation area in the city-centre. Key elements of this include facing post-Covid recovery challenges, urban mobility demands and answering questions pertaining to the future of the high street and its role within a healthy urban life for citizens.