Toomas Türk, Chief of Innovation, Tallinn City Enterprise Department
Marc Unió, International Promotion Advisor, City of Barcelona
Sandra Särav, Head of Sustainability, BOLT (urban mobility business)
Dr. Katerina Zalamova, Smart City Expert & Advisor and CEO of CREA IDEA LAB SL

Smart City initiatives provide the catalyst for urban communities to become more resilient and in the current economic environment it is key to understand how best to collaborate with counterparts from other cities to drive sustainable recovery and growth.

Our series of events explores best practice in cities in order to explore what works regardless of geography and what needs to be applied in a more tailored approach. Adopting and/or adapting technologies and innovations already available in other cities to solve local challenges is vital.

Key takeaways – How can shared city initiatives work on a local level? Which urban technologies are driving collaboration and which collaborations are driving tech innovations and developments? What role can think-tanks play?


Toomas Türk, Chief of Innovation, Tallinn City Enterprise Department

Toomas Türk is the first ever Chief of Innovation at City of Tallinn since November 2018. His main responsibility is to lead Innovation and Smart City programme, including novel technology projects, tech community engagement and internal innovation capacity initiatives. He has have worked on country senior level positions at Top Global/National Tech companies including Oracle, Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, Telia, Omniva/E-invoicing Center and has great knowledge about e-Estonia, Start-ups and Smart City activities. Toomas has actively served Cluster organisations such as Estonian Smart City Cluster, ITL (national ICT Cluster), PostEurop (Brussels based) and has been CES (US) partner representative in the Baltics. His competences are from Sales and Marketing, Strategy development to Change and Project management in wider ICT area. He has graduated from TalTech (BA studies) and has taken part of several International long-term trainings (Canada, UK, Sweden).

Tallinn, as the capital of Estonia, has an 800-year history as a developing and modernising city. For more than 20 years, Tallinn has been a leader in providing digital services globally and using them in everyday life. Its intelligent gov-tech solutions are widely recognised as a part of the e-Estonia concept. The vibrant startup scene has experienced the birth of unicorns and continuous innovation. The City of Tallinn is a testing grounds for new innovative solutions: several intelligent city solutions have already gone live, and self-driving buses and delivery robots are already on the streets. We support startup ecosystems and work closely with universities, incubators, clusters etc.

Our approach of Think global, Test in Tallinn is being used in the Tallinnovation concept to develop Tallinn into a Smart City. To start, the challenges need to be described and problems need to be identified. New ideas from the public sector or private companies will provide the solutions, followed by rapid prototyping and cooperation. We see the public sector as being one of the first potential customers and will later support the entry of the service or product provider into the global market. As a city, we can provide dedicated business support for Smart City initiatives and actively share the experience we gain from actual case studies with other cities.

We are looking for companies/organizations, ideas and great people to innovate for the future – share your ideas with Tallinnovation!

Marc Unió, International Promotion Advisor, City of Barcelona

Marc Unió is an International Promotion Advisor in the Barcelona City Council, focused on projects related to technology, innovation and Real Estate. He has previously worked as Economic Development Secretary of a municipality of Barcelona, consultant for international development projects and for a private firm in the DR Congo. He holds a Master’s in International Relations and Public Diplomacy, and has a degree in IT.

Barcelona is governed by a city council formed by 41 city councillors, elected for a four-year term by universal suffrage. As one of the two biggest cities in Spain, Barcelona is subject to a special law articulated through the Carta Municipal (Municipal Law). A first version of this law was passed in 1960 and amended later, but the current version was approved in March 2006. According to this law, Barcelona’s city council is organized in two levels: a political one, with elected city councillors, and one executive, which administrates the programs and executes the decisions taken on the political level. This law also gives the local government a special relationship with the Spanish government and it also gives the mayor wider prerogatives by the means of municipal executive commissions. It expands the powers of the city council in areas like telecommunications, city traffic, road safety and public safety. It also gives a special economic regime to the city’s treasury and it gives the council a veto in matters that will be decided by the central government, but that will need a favourable report from the council.

Sandra Särav,

Head of Sustainability, BOLT

Dr. Katerina Zalamova, Smart City Expert & Advisor and CEO of CREA IDEA LAB SL

Sandra is the first and brand new Head of Sustainability at Bolt, one of the fastest-growing transportation platforms in Europe and Africa with more than 30 million passengers in over 35 countries. Her task is to make sure Bolt offers the most sustainable modes of urban transport. Prior to Bolt, Sandra served as the Global Affairs Director in the Government CIO Office of Estonia, leading Estonia’s global ICT relations, and was part of Estonia’s EU Presidency team in 2017. Sandra is currently also a junior researcher at TalTech where she lectures on the topics of Legal Framework of e-Governance as well as EU law.

Bolt is the leading European mobility platform that’s focused on making urban travel more affordable, convenient and responsible

Bolt has more than 30 million users in over 35 countries across Europe and Africa. Its services range from ride-hailing to micro mobility with e-scooters and electric bikes to food and package delivery.

As of 2019, all Bolt rides in Europe are 100% carbon-neutral as part of Bolt’s Green Plan, a long-term commitment to reduce the ecological footprint of the company.

Dr. Katerina Zalamova is a recognised Smart Cities expert with a special interest in zero waste infrastructures and the circular economy along with the adoption of digital infrastructures focused on economic development and social change.

With a masters in applied physics and a doctorate materials science Dr. Zalamova, has developed various renowned Smart City Concepts, including, the concepts “smart & social” and “micro-city building” which have been applied in projects such as the EU project Triangulum in Sabadell. She also held the position of academic director for a brief period at the Barcalona Blockchain Institute & Technology

Along with her Smart City consultancy, Dr. Zalamova runs the think-tank for advanced cities, CREA IDEA LAB, with the objective to transfer new technologies and circular economy knowledge to the new and growing smart societies. At CREA IDEA LAB she also fosters, mentors and supports new smart innovators and young entrepreneurs who she believes will be the next developers and applicators of the new smart cities.

Dr. Zalamova also has a keen research interest in optimisation of data processing, knowledge extraction, Blockchain and AI application in smart city development and Zero Waste logistics, analytics and infrastructure.

Headquartered in Barcelona Spain, with offices in Dublin,Ireland and Dubai UEA, CREA IDEA LAB is a consultancy and think tank for advanced smart cities. The company has its own R&D department and startup incubator where innovative companies are developing solutions for the Smart City market. We have participated in the EU projects Triangulum (HORIZON2020-No 656478) and UrbanWins (HORIZON2020-No 690047) in Sabadell, Spain since 2016. CREA IDEA LAB is a member of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), EU AI Alliance, the IoT Catalan Alliance of the Catalonian Government and the Chamber of Commerce Brasil- Catalonia. We advocate for purposed-centred design of the city’s infrastructures deployed through an integration of its vision and understanding at all levels. We have promoted a unique city design methodology through our work in CREA IDEA LAB since 2014. It consists of the best global practices and also of the learning from past projects. CREA IDEA LAB has its roots in Europe and as a result we work closely with such great cities as Barcelona, Milan, Amsterdam and Eindhoven.