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 assistant1@epsi.eu

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