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.