Sports & Technology, the European Platform for Sport Innovation, Asociación Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia, Trentino Sviluppo and the Regional Council of Lapland signed in Warsaw (Poland) a Memorandum of Understanding, aimed to cooperate upon an Investment Protocol proposal for a collaborative project within the framework of the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial: the project is named “smart sport innovation hubs”.
ClusSport is the project consortium in the thematic area of sport of the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation The main objective of the ClusSport is to help strengthen the sport industries and the sports value chain at the EU level. This interregional partnership brings together stakeholders from the sport sector and related industries, implementing a common strategy to enable investments and establish research facilities across Europe.
Within the ClusSport partnership, following an initiative of several regions, clusters and the European Platform for Sport Innovation – EPSI – the Parties initiated contacts between themselves with the intention to cooperate upon an Investment Protocol proposal for a collaborative project within the framework of the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation (S3P-Industry), which aims to support EU regions committed to generate a pipeline of industrial investment projects following a bottom-up approach – implemented through interregional cooperation, cluster participation and industry involvement.
ClusSport aims to develop regional smart sport innovation hubs. These hubs can be defined as local innovation ecosystems including quadruple helix stakeholders (e.g. clusters, innovation centres …) that support the maturation and transfer of excellent technology and knowledge towards applications in society and industry. Importantly, the innovation hubs will deliver several types of services, for example data generators, i.e. lab or networks of labs where people practice sports and physical activity generating data and knowledge (through smart places, wearable, soft technology…).
ClusSport proposes to use the innovation hub concept to launch a pilot project on smart vital urban regions. Creating Smart Vital Urban regions entails the creation of networks, infrastructures and programmes to support business development ideas, facilitate PPP’s and encourage citizens to practice more physical activities. The ClusSport Smart Vital Urban regions address this challenge by creating urban living labs which connect social and (smart) product innovation. Each region develops a complementary living lab facility that are networked together and that can specialise in various areas (in public spaces, at work, at school…). The main challenges here are the public private collaborations and the creation of sustainable public private business cases.
The region of the South Netherlands will lead the development of the innovation hub network based on regional excellences and facilitate the development of smart vital urban regions. Q-helix partners in the leading region in South Netherlands are committed to invest in the transformation of the existing cluster & living lab structure via the innovation centre for sports and vitality, delivering societal, business, economical and sports impact on the regional, national and international level. Three key partners from Valencia, Lapland and Trentino are committed to support and co-invest in the process of launching the innovation hub network investments based on their regional strengths and centres of excellence through targeted investments. It is expected that other regions will follow. The innovation hubs will invest in the infrastructure (living lab) which generate data (opportunity mapping), stimulate innovation and SME scale up. They will provide an interregional network, linking regional excellence and research facilities and spin out businesses with new business models. They will also create public private programmes to support innovations which stimulate physical activities.
The initial investments will total an estimated 5-10 M€ across the regions. The investment idea offers businesses a service and an infrastructure to create, test and develop innovative sports related products and services. For example, data created in the various living labs will be consolidated into interoperable interregional datasets and sold to businesses to help them refine their innovations, thus generating a revenue stream and a return on the initial public investment.
Main Role of Project Partners
Sports & Technology (Project Leader)
They will lead the development of the innovation hub network based on regional excellences and facilitate the development of smart vital urban regions. Q-helix partners in the leading region in South Netherlands are committed to invest in the transformation of the existing cluster & living lab structure via the innovation centre for sports and vitality, delivering societal, business, economical and sports impact on the regional, national and international level.
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Asociación Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia
They will act as a reference for the just developing smart sports innovation hub in the Region of Valencia. This Hub will focus in developing and applying technology and knowledge for gathering data from sports and physical activity for being later applied for sports innovation and business development. This hub will follow a 4d Helix and cross-sectoral (sports and tourism, sports and health,…) approach. In this role, IBV aspires to be considered as an excellence center in people data led sports innovation as well as in human digitalization (tools, technology and knowledge for “transforming” people in useful data).
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Regional Council of Lapland
They are leaders the Arctic Sport ecosystem which is gathering together core actors in the relation of sport development. Lapland Arctic Sport ecosystem with its partners is committed to advance the regional sport hub of knowledge and innovation in Rovaniemi area. They invest in programs on smart cross-sectorial living lab environment engaging the professional sport sector, related industries and regional players in order to develop. The focus is on testing and validation of new sport knowledge and applied technology for the use of the end customer.
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They have received a strategic mandate from the Autonomous Province of Trento (local government) to create a Sport Cluster with local, national and international dimensions TS is articulating a vision on sport and innovation with its stakeholders, in particular with research institutes, universities and acceleration programmes for enterprises. In particular, the existence of Spin Accelerator Italy will boost the innovation potentials of startups in the field of sport; the international networks enable to have an additional acceleration of business ideas. Innovation, Sport and Sport Tech are the fundamental pillars of the TS strategy in the short and long term horizon.
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European Platform for Sport Innovation
They will provide strategic support for this initiative and help bridging the gaps between the different sport related private and public operators assuring a smooth a linear flow of information and knowledge gathering.