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EPSI Conference 2017 Program

Download the program here  

09:00 – 09:15 – Registration and coffee

09:15 – 9:30 – Opening words

Mr. Alberto Bichi, Co Executive Director EPSI / Moderator 

Keynote speaker

Mr. Mark Nicklas, Deputy Head of Unit, Innovation Policy and Investment for Growth (DG GROW), European Commission

9:30 – 09:50 – Importance of Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) – Relevance of children

Mr. Renald Lafarge, Managing Director of Nova Child  

09:50 – 10:10 – Economic Relevance of Sport

Ms. Anna Kleissner, Vice Executive Director and Senior Researcher of  SportsEconAustria

10:10 – 10:30 – Coffee Break

10:30 – 12:00 – How can sport be a driver for industrial modernisation and economic growth?


  • Mr. Marc Van der Zande, Sport and Technology; EU4SportsClusterAlliance project
  • Mrs. Montse Centellas, INDESCAT: Concrete Business cases/ Reverse Mission
  • Mr. Kristof de Mey, Victoris/UGent: Business from knowledge
  • Mr. Michael van Lieshout, Flanders Bike valley
  • Startups in the spot light (IPOS, FBV, Victoris, …) (TBC)

Moderator Mr. Rene Wijlens, Co Executive Director of EPSI;  Cluster Manager of Sport and Technology

12:00 – 12:20 – Funding Opportunities for the Sport Sector

Mr. Jordi Escribà, B-Link

12:20 – 13:20 – Lunch Break

13:20 – 13:50 – Session innovations in practice

Brief introduction on projects; challenges and chances for the industry coming from the projects

5 presenting (innovation) projects: eg 

  • IPC project: Ms. Florence Bongers, S&T
  • EFRD project The vitality living lab: S&T
  • Nano4 sports project: Ms. Tine van Lommel, KUL
  • Vital cities Urbact: Mr. Twan de Bruyn
  • SPORT AHEAD: Mr. Medardo Chiapponi, Università Iuav di Venezia

13:50 – 14:20 – Match making and brokerage events

Coordinated by René Wijlens, Co Executive Director of EPSI;  Cluster Manager of Sport and Technology

14:20 – 15:00 – Regional Development and cross border synergies

Why “ClusSport Partnership” is of importance for the Smart Specialisation for Industrial Modernisation Platform;

Political introduction: more regional and private investments for the European sport industry

  •  Mr. Marku Markkula, Vice president Committee of Regions 

Regional Governors

  • Mr. Mika Riipi, Lappland Regional Governor
  • Ms. Emma Vendrell, Head of International Projects, Clusters Unit
  • Mr. Pentti Malinen, Regional Mayor, Regional Council of Kainuu 

15:00 – 15:15 – Coffee Break

15:15 – 17:45 – Technical panel ClusSport Consortium, workshop and closing remarks

  • a presentation of the overall concept of interregional cooperation for industrial modernisation;
  • the work performed so far (scoping note);
  • connection with other EU initiatives such as ongoing INTERREG and Macro Regions projects in the area of sports, and EPSI;
  • examples of investment projects taken from the EAC study on structural funds on sports.


  • Mr. Pierre Padilla, Senior Consultant at IDEA Consult
  • Mr. Mike Coyne, partner at CSES 
  • Ms. Kristiina Jokelainen, Lapland Region
  • Mr. Nikos Pantalos, DG Grow
  • Mr. Krzysztof Mieszkowski, Smart Specialisation Platform, European Commission-  Joint Research Centre
  • Mr. Marc Pattinson, European Cluster Collaboration Platform Project Director and inno TSD

Moderator: Mr. Alberto Bichi, Co Executive Director of EPSI

*For your information, the EU4Sports Clusters Alliance Final Conference, will be hosted in the same premises on the 22nd November 2017, i.e. the day after. For more information contact

On behalf of the organizing partners,

Antonello Marega

President of EPSI

Alberto Bichi  

Co-Executive Director of EPSI

Rene Wijlens

Co-Executive Director of EPSI