ASTN to establish new world-class Sports Innovation Centre in Melbourne

Date: 9-Sep-2021
The Victorian Government Minister for Innovation, Medical Research, and the Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford yesterday announced support for Victoria’s growing sports technology sector with a $4 million investment to establish the Australian Sports Innovation Centre for Excellence (ASICE) in Cremorne, Melbourne’s global innovation and technology precinct.

The Centre that will support the creation of up to 2,000 jobs over four years by encouraging commercialisation of research and development and attracting national and international partnership opportunities for Victoria’s growing sports technology sector.

The Centre will be headed up by the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN), the nation’s lead industry body for sports technology and innovation, and will be connected to the state’s flagship Digital Hub in Cremorne. ASTN’s network of more than 500 Australian-based sports innovation companies will be connected to the centre and they will continue to help companies develop and expand globally.

Back in 2012/2013, the ASTN published an industry study into the state of development, sciences, and engineering of sportstech. The study profiled Australia’s small proportions of less than 1% of the $USD250 billion globally representing less than 2,500 jobs domestically.

As of 2020/2021, the ASTN estimates that the sportstech industry in Australia across the 9 verticals of sports business, sports performance technologies and sports participation has grown to $1.2 billion p.a. with approximately 50% being generated in Victoria. In addition, it has been approximated that more than 7,500 people are currently employed in Victoria’s Sports Technology sector in companies developing sports technologies in sports, media, Artificial Intelligence, entertainment, digital, mobile, stadiums, major events, wearables, and e-sports. Based on market data researched by Sports Tech World Series, mergers, and acquisitions (M&A) activity in sportstech has cumulatively grown to AUD4.6 billion in Australia.

“Going forward, the Centre will help Australian sports technology startups, entrepreneurs and companies by providing new knowledge, education and training, programs, trade and strategic mentoring leadership opportunities as well as connecting them to develop new industry partnerships, research collaborations, open innovation initiatives and global sports markets” said James Demetriou, Chair of the ASTN.

Some of the ASTN’s current Industry and stakeholder partners include the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the Australian Sporting Goods Association (ASGA), Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA), the Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC) powered by Microsoft, iSports Connect (European market entry partner), the International Sports Technology Association (ISTA), Sport & Technology in the Netherlands, Varcis Group in Hong Kong (Asia market entry partner), SportsNXT (sport leadership conference) and Vumero’s Sports Tech World Series (STWS).

The Victorian Government through its startup agency, LaunchVic assessed that the growth rates of sports at 22% is on-par with fintech (22%), Healthtech (24%) and media (22%). ASTN is excited that the funding provided by the Victorian Government will further build on the investment into the technology sector and looks forward to linking into other ASTN State nodes and initiatives around the country.

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