EPSI is a membership-based networking organisation within Europe that focuses on innovation in the areas of physical activity related to sport, leisure and health. EPSI strives for a more innovation-friendly environment for the EU sports industry, in order to stimulate technological innovation and to set up businesses with a focus on innovative technology.
EPSI is an active organisation to make links between sport, industry and knowledge organisations in the area of sport and innovation.
EPSI activities include:
- Create business opportunities among its members.
- Coordinate and manage EU/national project developments and project execution
- Inform its members on European/national call for proposals and public tenders
- Create general Research Strategic Agenda for the entire sector
- Influence Policy makers on sectors elaborated Strategic Research Agenda
EPSI functions as a networking organization and networking for and between its members will be its main activity. In the coming years activities will be focused on following items:
- Organizing activities and events to tackle and harvest chances and needs for innovation for the sector. Sources for innovation will be based on the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) but also on public health needs and on innovation opportunities provided by the organization of top sport events
- Coordinate/manage EU/international project development and project execution;
- Share and disseminate information (e.g. project results, new knowledge, innovation programmes and innovation chances) to the members by e.g. organizing of workshops, website etc.
- Elaboration of the network (by strengthening the connections to the sports industry and by increasing transparency in the knowledge network)
- Putting forward the sports industry agenda on innovation and research towards the European Commission and national governments
EPSI will be flexible and open to providing other activities and services which may be required to achieve its primary aim.
EPSI is a non profit association (ASBL) located in Brussels (Belgium)
Network of networks
EPSI is a networking organization. Its core is a network of national sports and innovation networks thus representing the industry-sports-innovation partners throughout the EU. Members of EPSI typically come from sports industry, universities and academia, Sport research institutes, consumer health and safety organisations, medical and teaching hospitals, educational institutes, public authorities, national sports innovation contact points and other relevant stake holders
Direct links to industry
EPSI is directly linked to the industrial needs and agenda. It is supported by FESI (Federation of European Sporting Goods Industry) and by several national sports and innovation networks. Each of these networks holds direct relations to the sport sector e.g.:
EPSI is a membership organization with a president, general assembly and board. Day to day activities are lead by two executive directors. Besides the directors, the core working force of EPSI consists of 5 Working Groups, which are lead, when necessary and possible, by the industry as well as animated by representatives of research institutes, National contact points, higher education institutes, public authorities and other relevant stakeholders. The works will be managed and carried out independently by each Working Group.
EPSI strives to achieve a more innovation-friendly environment for the sports industry in the EU in order to stimulate technological innovation and establish businesses based on innovation technology. To accomplish this, EPSI does the following:
- Encourages networking between high tech companies, SMEs, universities and research organisations as in addition to other interested parties
- Develops and fosters a durable and innovation friendly / innovation stimulating environment for the entire EU Sports movement
- Initiates activities among its members to respond to regional, national and European calls for proposals with the aim of finalising certain innovation projects
- Contributes to the dissemination of new knowledge and innovation opportunities / trends for its members
The platform focuses its activities on innovation in the area of physical activity related to sport leisure and health such as:
- Sporting goods, footwear/ apparel and hardware
- Performance, monitoring and enhancement apparatus
- Sports facilities, sport surfaces and equipment
- Sports nutrition, health and physical activity
In 2006, organisations from the Sports industry, Sports and R&D organisations throughout the EU joined together in a European project, entitled the Innosport.eu initiative (www.innosport.eu). This project was established under the European sixth Framework Program (FP6) in order to deal with the challenges that the EU sports sector faces, by carrying out:
- Ways of dealing with fragmentation and focus research
- Increasing innovative power in the sector
- Combining national and European approaches in Sports R&D&I
- Incorporating opportunities which come out due to emerging technologies
Within the Innosport.eu project, a position paper of the sector and an innovation roadmap with trends and innovation lines for future developments in the sector was conceived. The information was brought together in a joint vision for the sector looking towards 2015, resulting in a strategic research agenda (SRA). The Innosport.eu project created an awareness that innovation and collaboration throughout the EU in the sports sector is of paramount importance and that a link has to be made between commercial/economical and public goals within the EU community concerning health, sustainability and innovation. But most of all: the Innosport.eu project created the positive energy and collaborative attitude of key organisations throughout the EU, which enabled them to participate in further development and innovation.
The results of the Innosport.eu project were summarised in a booklet “building a future of Europe Sports Innovation”. The end of the Innosport.eu project marked the start of the European Platform for Sport and Innovation, EPSI.
EPSI was initiated from the Innosport.eu partners at the first European conference on Sports and Innovation in the spring of 2008. Since than EPSI has organised a series of workshops which have lead to several innovation projects and international collaborations. EPSI is the official representative of the sports industry on innovation and research to the European Commission.
In December 2010, EPSI became an ASBL (Association Sans But Lucratif, non profit association), under Belgian law with founding members from several organisations and institutes from all over Europe. An ever increasing number of members have since joined the EPSI network.
EPSI is working from 5 committees covering the main areas of interest of the Sport sector:
1) THE CONSUMER— chaired by Mercedes Sanchis, IBV (Spain) www.ibv.org
- User needs
- Social trends
- Biomechanics, physiology,morphometry, anthropometry
2) MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES—chaired prof. Christos Spitas, TU Delft (The Netherlands) www.TUDelft.nl
- (New) Materials, smart textiles, nanomaterials, etc.
- Sensors, Actuators & control
3) PROCESSES – chaired by Andrea Brambilla, Assosport (Italy), www.assosport.it
- Customization (from shop to delivery)
- Environment and sustainability
4) SPORT INFORMATION SYSTEM —chaired by Prof. Alain Belli, SPORALTEC (France) www.sporaltec.fr
- Sport training/personal coaching
- Physical gaming in sport
- Social networking
5) KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND DISSEMINATION —chaired by Alberto Bichi, FESI (Belgium) www.fesi-sport.org