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Why a European Platform for Sports and Innovation?
Sport has been gaining prominence in recent years. Not only is sport being promoted as beneficial to both health and social relationships, its economic significance is also growing. In 1999 almost 800,000 people were employed in the sports industry in Europe; that figure has risen to 1.3 million people in 2007 and is expected to reach nearly two million by 2010. Sport incorporates many industrial sectors and services and is a growing area for companies of all sizes. The European sports market is large: in 2001 it generated 37 billion euros in turnover on sports products and equipment alone. As a relatively new sector, sport is generally regarded as being an early adopter of new ideas and innovations.
To prevent separate and similar developments in different countries, a strong need has arisen to team up the initiatives on a more European level and improve trans-national visibility on research and business creation. The main bottlenecks and limits to research, development and innovation in the EU sports market are:
- Fragmentation of research (technology and human factors) and the insufficiency of targeted research;
- Limited research and innovative power;
- Lack of a long-term vision for innovation;
- Insufficient new business creation;
- Too great a focus on national rather than European approaches in R&D.
Who is eligible to join the European Platform for Sports and Innovation ?
Any party that delivers a contribution to innovation in the sports industry may join the platform – manufacturers, research organisations, representative organisations, business facilitators, etc. More information about membership and membership conditions can be found at becoming a member.
Why should I join the European Platform for Sports and Innovation?
European Platform for Sports and Innovation will be our main instrument for exchanging information on innovation in the European sports industry, for example to generate ideas for new innovation projects. We will form working groups around topics that are important in the industry. Also new trends and news on innovation, showcases of success stories – projects, innovations and initiatives, etc – will be exchanged within the platform. We will organise seminars, brokerage events, congresses and develop innovation projects. But we will also need a critical mass to support initiatives we present to the EU commission. This is important in our lobby to create more attention and scope for projects on sports innovation in European research programmes.
How can I join the European Platform for Sports and Innovation?
EPSI is a membership organisations. Requests for membership should be addressed through the EPSI website (see becoming a member). You can join the European Platform for Sports and Innovation by filling in a membership application form. For this we need to know:
- The username of your choice
- The contact person within your organisation
- Your organisation’s profile
- The role of your organisation in the sports industry
- The interest of your organisation in specific topics and issues within the platform
- The willingness of your organisation to play an active role in the platform
EPSI board of directors will assess candidate applications and revert back promptly.