Leading sports performance innovations on show at Auckland
Auckland is showcasing its world leading sport performance innovation sector during the World Masters Games 2017 where more than 28,000 participants are in the region for the world’s largest multi-sport event.
Leading international sport performance experts, researchers, and innovative New Zealand sports businesses attended a Sport Performance Innovation Forum at QBE Stadium in Albany on Auckland’s North Shore on April 28th to discuss the latest advances and future commercial opportunities for the sector.
Auckland and New Zealand already has a strong track record in sport innovation, demonstrated by inventive technology developments in America’s Cup yacht racing, track cycling, Olympic and Paralympic sports, as well as global fitness programs by Les Mills.
Auckland was named the Best Medium Sports City in the world at the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities Awards in 2016, and ranked fourth overall in the world, behind New York, London and Melbourne.
The Forum — which is part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s (ATEED) World Masters Games 2017 business leverage programme, and organized in partnership with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and Callaghan Innovation — aims to showcase Auckland’s ground-breaking sport performance innovations.
Patrick McVeigh, ATEED General Manager Business, Innovation and Skills, says “Auckland not only has a growing reputation as a world leading sports city, but is also home to ground-breaking sport performance innovations designed to give athletes the leading-edge.
“The sport performance solutions and applications markets are growing rapidly across the globe. Auckland and New Zealand are well placed to take advantage of this growth, thanks to our highly talented and world-leading businesses, academics, training and sport medicine facilities and sport sector experts that are already based here.
“We will create greater momentum and make bigger inroads internationally if we work together. Our hope is that delegates will make valuable new contacts and see further opportunities for collaboration by attending the Forum today”.
Keynote speakers at the Forum include Microsoft’s Anton Davie, Brian Russell, the founder of Zephyr Technology who has recently returned to New Zealand from America, and Paul Francis, Senior Director of Advanced Product Innovation at Nike in Oregon, USA.
A proposal to create a New Zealand Human Performance Innovation Centre at AUT Millennium, New Zealand’s world-class sports training facility based on Auckland’s North Shore, has been announced at the Forum.
Auckland University of Technology (AUT), AUT Millennium, ATEED, High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) and Callaghan Innovation are partnering to further investigate the possibility of the proposed centre.
AUT Millennium Chief Executive Officer Mike Stanley says: “The centre aims to accelerate innovation to maximise New Zealand’s share of the rapidly growing global sports performance market.
“Five key areas have currently been identified as providing opportunities for research through the proposed centre. These include materials (textiles and composites), data, devices, nutrition and cognition.
“A business case is currently being prepared to establish the viability of the centre and the best model for its establishment,” says Stanley. “We are in the critical research phase of the project at present and are seeking input from stakeholders on what shape the centre could take.
“We recognise the importance of collaborating with other centres of excellence in Auckland and around New Zealand to deliver maximum benefits for New Zealand. Having these conversations also forms part of the research phase of the project.”