EPSI Executive Director Alberto Bichi in his final year statement analyses activities carried on by our network in 2021, with an eye towards next year opportunities for the sport and vitality ecosystem.

Europe is little by little re-opening. After a difficult 2020 for the society and, in particular, for the sport ecosystem, this 2021 – that’s coming to its end – will be remembered as a “new start”. There are still challenges to face, but the sport movement is adapting to a “new normal” life. And sport innovation and technology are confirming themselves as powerful tools to reduce social distancing and turning uncertainties and difficulties into opportunities. That’s the spirit of EPSI. All through 2021 we have been striving for a more innovation-friendly environment for the EU sports and healthy life style ecosystem.

Our #InnovateSport family is growing more and more each month and we have recently broke the ceiling of 120 members, an impressive and honourable result, that gives us many responsibilities too.

From a lobbying perspective, this 2021 is the year of the new EPSI Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, that will guide us and our network in the next years, focusing on challenging topics such as health, tourism and environment, sustainability and green sport.

We are glad to provide added values to our organizations and in 2021 we confirmed the positive 2020 numbers in terms of tangible results: new projects that been granted by the EU institutions and new business opportunities for our members were developed. New business matches amongst our members as well as with several neighbouring sectors ensured economic growth, and tangible commercial results.

Moreover, in November, our Annual Conference gave us the opportunity to gather again in person, seeing the participation of more than 130 people coming from all over Europe. Our successful[1] Spa Francorchamps event was a great example of the EPSI potential, that can reach huge numbers and business results even in tough times. 

As agreed during our General Assembly In 2022 we shall be concentrating on the hereunder main development points: 

● Further development of members satisfaction with the launch of, amongst other, the so called «Operational conversations»
● Further development of our Lobbying outreach : definition of a lobbying strategy / objectives 
● Further development of the process of Innovation towards successful business:
○            Establish the EU network of innovation Hubs for Sports & Vitality
○            Secure dedicated private investors: Business angels / venture capitalists .
● Further development of our Fundraising pillar given the fact that we are lacking support from some of our current Strategic Partners (SP) :
○            Extra capacity for / form the already existing SP and/or new staff employed for writing our projects proposals
● Increase / develop further our communication activity

The sport movement  can rely on EPSI to grow stronger in every situation, since the #BeActive spirit is more important than ever.  A warm “Thank You” to all our members that have allowed this constant growth to happen. We are determined to continue boosting sport innovation in Europe. We are EPSI: and #InnovateSport is our mission!

Alberto Bichi

[1] As confirmed by all the 130 participants in a dedicated survey