First Innovation & Sports Workshop Comes to a Close

EPFL, University of Lausanne, HEIG-Vd, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), CHUV: The Canton of Vaud is blessed with some of the best universities, professional schools and research centres in the world. The region also hosts many international sport organisations such as the IOC (International Olympic Committee), FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball), UEFA, AIBA (International Boxing Association) and the International Sports Cluster, to name a few. Opening the Accelerate Event at the Casino de Morges on the 1st of October 2015, Mr. Philippe Leuba, Vaud’s Minister of Economy and Sports, pointed out the importance of connecting innovation and sports, a successful combination that brought to the world projects such as Solar Impulse or Planet Solar, all born in the Canton.

Organised by the AISTS, Innovaud and the CVCI, Accelerate is the first innovation and sports workshop addressing the needs of international sports organisations by providing contacts and a platform for sharing with the potential solution providers from the labs and high tech innovators. 

Before starting the workshop the participants of the event had the opportunity to listen to Professor Jan-Anders Manson, President of AISTS and Professor at the EPFL’s Laboratory of Composite and Polymer Technology about the innovation challenges for sport organizations. During his insightful talk, our guests learned more about the promising network of emerging technologies that are shaping sports innovation and their challenges. 

Prior to the launch of the workshops, Dr. Claude Stricker, Executive Director of AISTS, explained the process that led to Accelerate. Fifteen interviews were conducted to better understand the technological challenges faced by ISO (international sports organisations) as well as their needs. The survey conducted by Marga Rico and Gustavo Arellano – two participants of the AISTS’ Master of Advanced Studies in Sport Administration and Technology - helped to select three areas of focus, all in ICT: Public Engagement, Knowledge Management and Organisational Management. 

For each of these three areas, two startups were selected by Innovaud to showcase their technology and know-how. For the “Public Engagement” worshop, ObViz and Shore.li were selected. On “Knowledge Management” eBizGames and EDSI-Tech were invited to present themselves. Last but not least, Crossing-Tech and GenView 3D presented at the third workshop on “Organisational Knowledge”.

Every workshop started with a short presentation of each startup to understand their areas of expertise and how they could be valuable to the International Sports Organisations. After the pitches, an open discussion was launched by the moderators from AISTS, Innovaud and CVCI. A lot of questions were asked by the attendants during this part, showing a high level of engagement and interest.

At the end of the workshops a wrap-up session was held. Findings show that companies such as ObViz and Shore.li offer new ways for international sport organisations to better understand their audiences, leverage social media and enhance spectactor experience in the public engagement area. When it comes to Knowledge Management, startups like eBizGames and EDSI-Tech offer innovative online solutions to building capability through training, exploit data bases and inform more efficiently. Last but not least, startups such as GenView 3D and Crossing-Tech can help international sport organisations facing unprecedented business and technology complexity to deal with and make sense of big data.

To end this very interesting morning, Innovaud and AISTS invited Simon Johnson, business coach and consultant, to share his vision about “Drones in Sports Events”. During his talk, the organizer of the recent DroneApps Conference in Lausanne spoke about the promising uses of civil drones in sports events with applications such as aerial photography, analytics, gridlock-free deliveries, social networks but also sky-fi or drone racing.

Innovaud, AISTS and the CVCI would like to thank all the participants of the successful first Accelerate Workshop held in Morges. A second edition of the event connecting international sport organisations with innovators is already planned for 2016.

See all the photos from the first ACCELERATE event here.

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