Let’s explore the consortium of SmartSports4GoodLife. Today we meet the Catalan Sports Industry Cluster, leader of this COSME Project.

INDESCAT is the Catalan Sports Industry Cluster, a private entity led by companies. As a cluster, we bring together companies and organizations related to the world of sport, with the main objective of developing actions that improve their competitiveness and also that of their environment.

INDESCAT represents more than 80 companies and organizations, with an overall turnover near 1,500 M€, which offer services and products to the sports and physical activity market. We are a non-profit association including companies and organizations from all the sports segments, from micro-enterprises to large companies with global presence. We consider that the sports industry is grouped into 3 major segments, being all of them represented in INDESCAT: events, facilities, consumer goods & services.

Together with other three European sports clusters (Cluster Montagne from France, Sports & Technology from the Netherlands, and MSE Hungarian Sport & Lifestyle from Hungary), and also EPSI (the European Platform for Sport Innovation), INDESCAT started a new European project in February 2020,  in which the Catalan sports cluster will be the coordinator during the next two years. 

SmartSports4Good- Life Smart and sustainable Sports Products and Services for the promotion of Healthy Lifestyles is the name of the project co-financed by COSME, under the European Cluster Excellence Program, which has recognized INDESCAT previous experience on coordinating international projects and the existing and sustained collaboration between different European sports clusters.

The project, aims to continue the cooperation and collaboration among the sports clusters to provide and create new business opportunities for SMEs, strengthen Clusters management capabilities to transfer knowledge to SMEs. The project will improve cross-sectoral cooperation, especially with technologyenergytourism and healthsectors, to address the main challenges the sector is facing in Europe and advance in the digitalisation process and the provision of low carbon products and services. Through the ClusterXChange program, which involves visits to other sports SMEs and stakeholders, B2Bmatchmaking and networking events at regional and European levels, the project will facilitate more than 50 exchanges between a total of 100 companies and other stakeholders from France, Netherlands, Hungary and Catalonia.

SmartSports4GoodLife contributes to implement the EU industrial policy strategy of Investing in an intelligent, innovative and sustainable industry that favours innovation, digitalization and decarbonization. At the same time, it also contributes to the regional development policies of the EU, based on the research and innovation strategy for Smart specialization (RIS3).

2020 will be a challenging year due to the COVID-19 crisis. The global industry, and the sports sector is not an exception, is living moments of uncertainty and a halt in the economic activity. Our challenge is to overcome this serious pandemic as soon as possible and adapt our business models to the new situation. 

As a consequence of the Covid crisis, INDESCAT has cancelled or delay all the face-to-face events and actions and is providing online solutions. In this sense and from the very beginning, INDESCAT is organizing different cross-sectorial webinars to help its members to mitigate the Covid affectations. These webinars are jointly launched with the rest of Catalan clusters and provide tools and information about legal and labour measures, financing, regulatory aspects, innovation, competitiveness, communication, teleworking and other relevant issues. 

INDESCAT has also organized and promoted specific webinars for the sports industry, such as the webinar “Sustainable water management in recreational sports facilities”, which has been developed together with the Catalan Water Partnership cluster. We are still working on the definition of upcoming sectorial webinars, tackling e-commerce, fitness centres and post-coronavirus sports clubs, etc.

Finally, as the effects of Covid-19 will be relevant not only for the sports sector, but also for the global economy, it is more than ever necessary to anticipate ourselves to make the right decisions and seek internal and external strategic alliances that will allow us to overcome this crisis with the maximum guarantees. For this reason, INDESCAT will carry out a study on the impact of the Covid-19 on the sports business sector. This study will allow us to check the evolution and trends of the sports business during and after the Covid-19 and draw conclusions that will be transferred to public administrations looking for their support, which will contribute to improve the health of the sports industry.