Building knowledge and connections in sports tech

13 Sep 2023
Professor John Cairney addressing the conference on co-creating the future of sports tech.

Elevating the sports tech sector in Australia was the focus of a partnership between The University of Queensland and Sports Tech World Series at the 2023 Australia Sports Tech Conference.

UQ's School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences played a pivotal role in hosting two events during the three-day conference: the Sports Tech Academic Day and the Co-creating the Future Sports Tech Ecosystem workshop.

The Sports Tech Academic Day provided attendees with insights into the latest research and academic projects in the Asia-Pacific region, highlighting their impact on the sports tech industry.

Professor John Cairney from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences said attendees learnt about the innovative research occurring in Australian universities and how this research could be applied in sports tech spaces.

“The workshop featured four speakers from UQ, including Dr Veronique Richard, Dr George Thomas, Dr Matt D’Souza and Associate Professor Craig Engstrom who covered topics such as creativity in sports tech, wearables for predicting and preventing chronic diseases, pervasive computing, and new technologies in sports medicine,” Professor Cairney said.

UQ hosted the Co-creating the Future Sports Tech Ecosystem workshop at its 308 Queen Street Campus, where academics, government representatives, and tech industry experts collaborated to design a roadmap for a thriving sports tech ecosystem.

“The focus of this discussion was to understand how collaboration between industry, government, and the university sector could address complex challenges.

“It’s vital for universities such as UQ to listen to the industry so we can co-create solutions that work for all parties.”

Led by Dr Jo'Anne Langham from UQ Ventures, small groups of participants from the sports tech industry, government entities, and universities engaged in collaborative activities to propose ways for seamless collaboration between the tech industry and universities.

UQ was represented by Professor John Cairney, Professor Genevieve Healy, Dr Ana Goode, Dr Veronique Richard, Dr Stephen Townsend, Jacqueline Niblett and Professor Martie-Louise Verreynne  at this workshop.

“The data gathered will inform UQ's approach to working with the sports tech sector leading up to the Brisbane 2032 Games,” Dr Townsend said.

Additionally, UQ's partnership with the sports tech sector was further enhanced by the participation of 13 students from UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, who volunteered during the three-day events.

UQ volunteers made a significant contribution to the running of the event.

“These students had the opportunity to connect with leaders in sports tech and gain valuable insights into the dynamic landscape of sports technology driven by advancements in artificial intelligence, biomechanical research, and game-play technology.”

Andrew Walton, Sports Tech World Series Managing Director said UQ’s involvement in the partnership to deliver Australia Sports Innovation Week was meaningful and valued.

“Being able to blend experts from industry and research with aspirational startup and scaleup founders into activities moderated and mentored by UQ was appreciated greatly by those who attended,” Mr Walton said.

UQ was the official education partner for the 2023 Australia Sports Tech Conference and active partner across the Australia Sports Innovation Week.