Knowledge exchange: High Performance Sport innovation project enters next leg

A Swansea University led project to enhance elite sport performance and stimulate economic opportunities through the exchange of expertise has received further funding to take the project into its second phase.

The ‘Science, Medicine and Technology Innovation for High Performance Sport’ project, being taken forward by Swansea University in collaboration with the University of Glamorgan, will provide cutting edge technology and business solutions to issues identified by Welsh sport.

The project was initiated after the success achieved by Welsh athletes in the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. The project will support the ambitious goals for the next Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 and beyond – enhancing Welsh athletes’ performance and medal prospects, providing a sustainable legacy of knowledge for future generations of athletes and coaches in Wales, and stimulating economic opportunities for Welsh businesses.

Phase 1 of the project, which was funded by the Welsh Government Knowledge Exchange Programme (KEP) during 2012, has been a great success.  Phase 1 involved the KEP project team holding scoping discussions with the Welsh focus sports for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014 which were used to identify the individual performance needs of the sports that would give them the best chance of medal winning performances in Glasgow.  

The project has now received further funding of £219K for phase 2 from the Welsh Government’s Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The key aim of phase 2 is to encourage knowledge exchange between Welsh business, academia, and sport.  A series of knowledge exchange events will allow the focus sports, Welsh businesses, and expertise within academia to work together to further develop potential innovative solutions centred around the key performance and technology questions identified by the respective sports during phase 1.

The project is led by Dr Liam Kilduff, from the Applied Sports Technology Exercise and Medicine Research Centre (A-STEM) in the University’s College of Engineering, working with Nick Owen, Claire Henson and Dr Steve Mellalieu, also of A-STEM, and Dr David Shearer from the University of Glamorgan’s Faculty of Business and Society. In addition the project aims to ensure a Wales wide network of experts within this area is developed to provide a sustainable knowledge exchange pool.

Project leader, Dr Liam Kilduff from Swansea University said: “Following on from the success of phase 1 we are delighted that Welsh Government have funded the project to its completion. The award of this Welsh Government grant shows the strong reputation we have here in Swansea University in the area of elite sport. The project also aims to build effective collaborations with Welsh Sports Governing Bodies, Sport Wales, Welsh universities, and businesses, to accelerate knowledge transfer between researchers and industry.”

Dr David Shearer from the University of Glamorgan’s Faculty of Business and Society, said: “This funding comes at a critical stage in the development of the Welsh Commonwealth Sports towards Glasgow 2014 and beyond. Welsh Academia and Welsh businesses alike, have the opportunity to make a direct impact on the success of the Welsh team. This funding also provides the opportunity for Welsh Businesses not usually associated with sport to diversify into new areas and increase their market potential”

Knowledge exchange seminar ‘A New Mass Market in Sport’, to be held on March 27th, aims to bring together potential stakeholders within the high performance sport area to develop partnerships in printed technologies. Anyone interested in attending the event should contact Clare Henson (c.m.henson@swansea.ac.uk ).

  • Launched in 2008, the Welsh Government’s Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) programme is a six-year, £70million programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, geared to ensure Wales maximises the economic impact of its academic institutions. A4B supports a range of activities in higher and further educational institutions to develop more effective transfer mechanisms, to commercialise their intellectual properties and develop and exploit the research base. Funding is available to academic institutions for projects that involve collaboration with businesses. Visit http://wales.gov.uk/topics/businessandeconomy/a4b/?lang=en.
     
  • For further information on Sport and Exercise Science at Swansea University’s College of Engineering, visit http://www.swan.ac.uk/engineering/sportsscience/.