What is STRN?
Based on our expertise in technology transfer and university – business collaborations from the last decade, we’re taking a new initiative to further bridge the gap between experts from various fields and the real-life entities interested in sports technology innovation.
The newly formed Sports Tech Research Network aims to build bridges between the best Sports, Tech, Business or other scientists and research driven industry (and non-profit) experts with the objective to make this highly fragmented space more transparent and visible to both the academic as non-academic world, not only in Ghent, but in other cities, regions and countries as well.
As such, we hope to further bridge the gap between the academic, industry and application side of Sports Tech. With this, more valuable products and services may enter the marketplace.
The idea to create this network started shortly after the first Sports Tech Transfer and R&D Summit organized in Ghent (Belgium) in October 2018. It’s also inspired by the 2017-2020 EU-INTERREG project Nano4Sports in which academic and industry partners developed various new technologies on the basis of multidisciplinary R&D (results of the project are summarized in this magazine).
Why are we doing this?
Sports Tech is booming and so is the innovation within it. Historically, the focus has been on materials, aerodynamics and all kinds of physical product characteristics. Since the 1990s, Sports Engineering is a discipline in itself. But over the past decade, the role of sensor, computer and data technologieshas drastically increased.
In the academic world, the importance of multi-disciplinary collaborations and societal & economic impact creation has gained more attention over the years. More and more researchers are involved in all kinds of projects in a high variety of faculties and departments, which makes it hard to allocate time wisely when it comes to university-industry interaction.
From the industry perspective, competition between Sports Tech companies is increasing and so is the importance of scientific validation and additional (technological and business model) innovation. Teams are also confronted with the fact that thousands of startups are offering them solutions of which they don’t know whether or not they are actually working. The same applies to federations and leagues.
From a societal point of view, the need for digital (& other) solutions in the areas of (youth) sport, physical activity & health for the general population has never been so high.
With Victoris, we of course take initiatives to bridge this gap, but what about the international perspectives? Despite a high variety of ecosystems, associations, etc. which already exist, there is (was) no contact point for research driven innovation when it comes to Sports Tech. We created a separate blog about Building more bridges in the Sports Tech Research domain.
Therefore, STRN helps in: 1) bringing together researchers from various sports scientific fields, technological disciplines and business related study domains, 2) increasing the visibility and relevance of their work, and 3) linking them with relevant research driven industry and public government representatives.
As such, STRN creates a one-stop-shop for everything that is related to Sports Tech Research’. Summarized.