Sports Tech Research Podcast
By Sports Tech Research Network
Sports Tech Research PodcastAug 25, 2020
Ben Smith – Bringing elite data to elite athletes
With a background at Chelsea Football Club and Loughborough University London, Ben now leads the international business development at Breakaway Data. A US company that puts ‘elite data in the hands of elite athletes’.
Kristof and Ben talk about the benefits of putting the athlete at the center of digital product development, the importance of stakeholder management in implementing such tool(s) and the opportunities for applied research this creates.
Athlete data ownership, privacy, and practical use. And of course: AI. That’s what this conversation is all about. Enjoy listening!
Jessica Zendler – Transitioning from academia to industry
Jessica is leading the sports division of the company, after being an independent consultant, startup CTO and academic PhD researcher. She’s also part of the Special Interest Group behind the STRN's Quality Framework for Sports Technologies, which has been published earlier.
Kristof & Jessica talked about the key differences between industry and academia when it comes to innovation. They also share some advice on how to transition from academia to industry, and the importance of having an open mindset when it comes to setting up collaborations.
But it doesn’t end there. Just give it a listen!
Marcus Schmidt and Sebastian Wille – How to blend sports science with engineering to develop solutions?
Marcus Schmidt is a researcher at TU Dortmund (Germany) with a special focus on the use of portable mobile sensors for biomechanical and training-scientific performance diagnostics as well as for preventive diagnostics in highly dynamic sports. This time, Kristof had a chat with him and his ‘Sensing Motion Science’ podcast partner Sebastian Wille who has his own consultancy firm which is acting as a development service provider. He and his team offer support in the development of embedded hardware and software solutions.
With Marcus understanding the needs from the industry and Sebastian - coming from research but now being more active outside of academic environments – understanding the needs of scientists, the conversation went mainly into the direction of sharing some practical examples, tips & tricks (on e.g. on attracting funding) and a few ideas for future initiatives related to collaborative efforts in the sports science and engineering field.
Torstein Dalen Lorentsen - University-industry collaborations in sports & health at SINTEF Digital
Torstein Dalen-Lorentsen is the Research Manager, Health and Performance Technology at SINTEF Digital in Oslo (Norway). Having a background in sports practice, science and technology R&D, he’s bringing very relevant insights to the table when it comes to the current and future state of our field. Kristof and Torstein talked about things as:
- The type of innovative solutions they are working on
- The challenges and opportunities in managing innovation processes
- The relationship between the sports, health and medical domains in general and prevention in particular
We hope you enjoy this one!
Karl Etzel - Managing research across human performance, health and corporate wellness topics
Karl Etzel is the VP of the Human Performance Lab at Exos (San Francisco, USA) which conducts research on products, programs, and services in the areas of human performance, health and fitness, and corporate wellness. Kristof & Karl discuss the role of the lab within the ecosystem, how to optimally manage it, and how it creates value for its clients, partners and the broader society. Also, find out Karl’s opinion about a gentleman called admiral Hyman G. Rickover!
After staying away for some time, we're 'back on air' with some new episodes of the Sports Tech Research Podcast. Kristof continues where he left it in 2022 and re-started recordings with some of the most inspiring people in the sports science, tech & innovation area.
Olli Tikkanen - Insights from the Physical Activity Researcher Podcast
Olli Tikkanen is the host of the Physical Activity Researcher podcast, where he speaks to experts in physical activity, exercise, and health to find out about the latest research findings. Besides that, he is the co-founder of Fibion, which offers a physical activity analysis product targeted to health & fitness professionals.
Olli is the 4th guest in our 2nd series of episodes, during which we interview other podcast hosts in the sports science, tech, and innovation area, in order to get their insights on the sports tech industry & the role of research and innovation within it.
In this episode, Olli & Kristof first talk about which research is still missing. Then, Olli talks about the difficulties of creating a business, something that many researchers often underestimate. He continues to talk about the importance of having some start-up experience in order to have realistic expectations and he also stresses the importance of informal meetups. Next, Olli & Kristof talk about ways to combine research & industry to come up with the right solutions. Finally, the implementation and adoption side of tech are discussed as well. Olli makes clear how important it is to understand the customer well and to know how the technology will work precisely in the client’s daily work or life.
Enjoy this episode!
P.S.: We spoke with Olli Tikkanen before about Fibion, on our Sports Tech Research blog.
Fee Beyer - Key learnings from the Fee Beyer SportsTech Podcast
So, she is/was the perfect (3rd) guest in our 2nd series of episodes, during which we interview other podcast hosts in the sports science, tech, and innovation area, in order to get their insights on the sports tech industry & the role of research and innovation within it.
In this episode, Fee talks about her experience with scouting & validating technologies for professional sports clubs. Furthermore, she explains the crucial aspects of technologies in elite sports: accuracy & reliability, usability, and flexibility. Kristof & Fee also discuss how her podcast came into existence. Finally, they talk about the intersection of sports practitioners, academia, and companies with Fee’s idea of a Sports Tech Lab where these 3 stakeholders could come together and create more usable & effective technologies.
Enjoy this episode!
Ed Gibbins - Lessons learned from the Rewire Fitness Podcast
Ed is the second guest in our 2nd series of episodes, during which we interview other podcast hosts in the sports science, tech, and innovation area, in order to get their insights on the sports tech industry & the role of research and innovation within it.
In this episode, Ed talks about his insights from running the Rewire Fitness Podcast. Ed and Kristof also talk about neuro performance and methods of optimizing the mindset of athletes. The role of research and their collaborations with universities are also discussed. Finally, Ed talks about the interdisciplinary opportunities for Sports Tech & related Research, and reflects on the role STRN can play within this 'window of opportunity'.
Enjoy the episode!
Benjamin Penkert - Insights from The SportsTech Allstars Podcast (SportsTechX)
Benjamin Penkert is well known as the host of The SportsTech Allstars Podcast, linked to SportsTechX, the market intelligence company for professionals & investors in sports, which he is running with his co-founder Rohn Malhotra.
Benjamin is the first guest in our 2nd series of episodes, during which we interview other podcast hosts in the sports science, tech, and innovation area, in order to get their insights on the sports tech industry & the role of research and innovation within it.
In this episode, Benjamin talks about his insights from running SportsTechX and their amazing podcast over the past 4 years. Benjamin and Kristof also talk about the role of research in the different segments of sports tech. Different methods and key criteria for translating research to market are discussed as well. Finally, Benjamin talks about the largest opportunities for Sports Tech & related Research as he is seeing these, and reflects on the role STRN can play within this field.
Enjoy the episode!
Steven Verstockt - Developing multimodal analytics methodologies for sports
Steven talks about the kind of methodologies they develop in the lab, relevant for cycling. Next, collaborations with other groups within the university and with external companies are being discussed. Finally, Steven explains how generic building blocks are created from their methodologies, and which critical hurdles they need to overcome with these types of projects.
Enjoy this episode!
Johann Windt - Creating long-term value with different stakeholders through Data Science
First, Johann talks about his background in sports, his academic involvement, and his transition to sports practice. Then, Johann & Kristof talk about how Data Science fits in the organizational structure at Vancouver Whitecaps and how decisions are supported by the Data Science department. The partnerships with other organizations, universities, and departments are also discussed in depth.
Enjoy this episode!
Ismael Fernández Cuevas - Infrared thermography in sports science, health, and research
First of all, Ismael’s internationally-oriented background and PhD. in Sports Science are discussed. Then, Ismael talks about the research of infrared thermography and what it can be used for - ThermoHuman focuses on prevention, performance, and prediction. Finally, the link with universities, research, SME's and corporates are made as well. We hope you enjoy the episode!
Timothy Brownstone - Using infrared technology in sportswear to enhance performance and recovery
In this podcast, Timothy talks about his background and the use of infrared technology to stimulate cell growth. The technology behind Kymira and several use cases are also discussed in depth. Finally, Timothy & Kristof talk about the intersection of the sports, health, and the medical domains and how an interdisciplinary approach plays a key role in innovation. Enjoy the conversation!
Tom Ruth & Miska Kuusisto - Tracking in sports, core technologies and (ice) hockey applications
In Episode 26, we welcome two guests: Tom Ruth, Vice President Americas at Quuppa, and Miska Kuusisto, Sales & Marketing Executive at Wisehockey. Quuppa has extensive experience in tracking technology, specialized in radiofrequency technologies. Tom is responsible for the business in the Americas and has had previous experience at Nokia and Broadsoft. Wisehockey creates solutions for hockey specifically. They build on core technologies, model games & provide analytics on top of it.
In this episode, we discuss core tracking technologies for sports, with the Quuppa-Wisehockey partnership as an example. We also talked about data collection & analytics, especially how to automate the whole flow. Finally, we explored the link with research. We hope you enjoy this three-way conversation!
Jan Van Haaren - Taking soccer to the next level with advanced analytics
Episode 25 is with Jan Van Haaren who worked for several years at SciSports, a Dutch football analytics company. Jan has a background in Computer Science and a PhD. in Machine Learning and worked as the Chief Analytics Officer at SciSports. He's been involved in soccer analytics for some time now and SciSports aims at getting the most valuable insights from football matches and training sessions.
In this podcast (recorded before Jan left the company), the different types of football analytics are covered (match sheet data, event data, and tracking data). Furthermore, the analytics discipline and its critical hurdles are discussed in depth. In addition, the ambition of creating actionable insights, and the role of multidisciplinary teams in soccer analytics in general are discussed. Finally, Kristof & Jan talk about the transition from descriptive analytics to predictive & prescriptive analytics. Enjoy this episode!
Aline Fobe - Leadership, analytics, and personal wellbeing through sports technology
Aline Fobe is a Corporate Wellbeing Consultant at Energy Lab. Before this role, Aline was an HR consultant at PwC and an athlete in the national field hockey team of Belgium. Throughout her career, she has collaborated in different teams and has developed a specific interest in high-performing teams.
In this episode, Aline talks about a specific sports technology analytics project that was set up by PwC and the Belgian field hockey team. Furthermore, she talks about the importance of leadership, personal wellbeing, and good communication in & outside of sports. We hope you enjoy this episode!
Peter Düking - The value of sports & health wearables for the industry & end-user
Peter Düking is a wearables researcher at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg. Peter’s interests intersect in the domains of athletes, science, and technology. Peter & Kristof spoke about how wearables can contribute to the improvement of athletes' health and performance, but also talked about regulations & standards within the sports technology industry. As always: we hope you enjoy this one!
Carlos Balsalobre - Implementing sports science into practice with the help of smartphone apps
Carlos Balsalobre is a Sports Scientist & Researcher at the Autonomous University of Madrid and a developer & entrepreneur in the area of physical performance apps. His main interests are strength training and testing new technologies to measure and improve performance. Carlos & Kristof talk about the path towards becoming a science-driven entrepreneur, the reasons behind it, and the key challenges to tackle along the way. Of course, Carlos also talks about the apps he has developed and the value they provide. Enjoy this inspiring story!
Martin Carlsson-Wall - How to bring research to the industry & the importance of culture
Martin Carlsson-Wall is a Professor at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and the director of the Center for Sports and Business at SSE. Next to leading the team of researchers in Sports & Business, his own research interests focus on accounting in sports organizations. In this episode, Martin talks about the collaborations with leagues, the different ways and stages of bringing research to the industry, and the importance of culture within sports organizations. Enjoy this one!
Marco Altini - Combining data science & entrepreneurship as a sports scientist
Marco Altini is a data scientist & entrepreneur with a broad set of skills. After a Ph.D. in applied machine learning and an additional Master's degree in Human Movement Sciences, Marco is currently an advisor for Oura and the founder of HRV4Training. This episode digs deeper into his unique perspective from the research, business, and entrepreneurship sides. Of course, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is also discussed, as well as how to build tools & apps in general that can be validated. We hope you enjoy this very inspiring conversation!
Kristof De Mey - Translating scientific output into practical applications used in the field
Kristof De Mey is the founder of STRN and is actually not your host in this episode! Instead, Cheri Bradish (Canada) interviews Kristof to find out why he founded STRN. After 6 years as a physiotherapist and a Ph.D. in the same area, Kristof got a role at Ghent University to transfer research knowledge into the field. In this episode, he talks about the different gaps he experiences and the opportunities for businesses, sports organizations and universities to collaborate. We hope you enjoy getting to know our founder a little bit better!
Sam Robertson - Analytics to improve skill acquisition and how to evaluate usable technologies
Sam Robertson is a professor of Sports Analytics at Victoria University and its consulting, learning & implementation arm Track. His research interests focus on the application of machine learning to sports problems and improving decision-making through analytics. This episode focuses on sports performance and skill acquisition in particular. How can technology and machine learning be applied to improve athletes? And perhaps even more important, how can this technology be evaluated from an end-user perspective? And how can we make products usable and implement them correctly? Enjoy listening!
Tom Jelliffe - Entrepreneurship, academia, and bringing the most durable earphones to the market
Tom Jelliffe is the founder of Tzuka, a start-up that will launch its durable earphones very soon. In this episode, we spoke about the story behind his company and product innovation. We also talked about his connection with Loughborough University and how start-up-university interactions can help in founding a business. We hope you find this episode interesting and don’t forget to follow Tzuka for the release of their product!
Cheri Bradish - Women in Sports & Tech and the value of partnerships
Dr. Cheri Bradish is the Loretta Rogers Research Chair in Sport Marketing at Ryerson University. As a sport marketing expert, she is interested in sport business strategy and trends including innovation and entrepreneurship. In this episode, we discussed the topic of women in sports and tech, related to research but also to entrepreneurship & field practice. We also talked about the importance of (academic) partnerships and how they can best be established. We hope you enjoy this episode of the podcast!
Michael Naraine - What's missing in the Sports Tech Management Research field?
Michael Naraine, Assistant Professor in Sport Management at Brock University (Canada) already performed research in a high variety of sports technology-related topics, such as marketing analytics, WiFi in stadiums, blockchain, and eSports. What are the key findings of these studies? How relevant were/are they for the industry? And what are the key factors in university-industry collaborations within this field? Here's another episode that we hope is interesting & inspiring!
Liz Wanless - Natural Language Processing: research and business opportunities
Liz Wanless is an Assistant Professor of Sports Administration and Assistant Director for Analytics at Ohio University, where she’s involved in various sports business analytics projects - of which some with sports organizations as e.g. in football or basketball. In this episode of the podcast, we discussed her recent work in the area of Natural Language Processing (NLP) as it is used e.g. in chatbots. But what's NLP and what do we know about it from an academic point of view? Which factors determine the adoption and implementation of the technology by teams and leagues? What's the potential impact of the use of it now and in the (near) future? And what can we learn from this type of research when it comes to the university-industry relationships in sports? Happy listening!
Stina Lundgren Högbom & Mikael Mattsson - Connecting the dots in the Swedish Sports Tech ecosystem (& beyond)
In this episode of the podcast, I talked with Stina Lundgren Högbom (Global Relationship Manager at the Health & Sports Technology Initiative in Blekinge, Sweden) and Mikael Mattsson (Adjunct Professor at the same Blekinge Institute of Technology and Senior researcher at Stanford University and Karolinska Institute). Key questions we talked about were: what is the initiative about? Should researchers try to create a product out of their findings themselves (or let others with complementary skills step in or take over)? What could or should be done to optimize the R&D, product creation and implementation process in sports technology? We also talked about their startup called SVEXA (Silicon Valley Exercise Analytics), which is a physical training intelligence software company, delivering decision support for top tier sports teams and elite athletes. As always, enjoy listening and looking forward to your feedback!
Koen Huybrechts - Creating spin-offs from imec's high-tech R&D
Imec is an R&D hub for nano- and digital technologies in Flanders (Belgium). The institute is linked to the 5 universities in the region and is well known on an international level when it comes to high-tech R&D and commercializations. In the framework of sports technology innovation, we were wondering how the organization is facilitating entrepreneurship and spin-off creation, and what can be learned from it in the context of sports related tech transfer activities. Koen Huybrechts is leading the venture development team at imec. In this episode, we talked about which type of activities they organize to facilitate venture creation, the success factors and pitfalls in those projects and the role of entrepreneurship in bringing high-tech R&D to the market. Happy listening!
Chad Goebert - AR / VR / MR in Sports - Where's research in relation to industry?
Chad Goebert is one of the few PhD students who's working on Immersive Sport Technologies research. He’s doing this at the Virginia Commonwealth University in the US, from where he's also feeding the popular Twitter handle ARVRInSport. After talking about some of his own research, we also touched upon the broader topic of how to bridge the gap between academia & industry in this area. Happy listening!
Kim Blair - Finding the best way to create new sports tech products & services
Kim Blair is one of the most experienced people in the sports engineering & technology area worldwide. He has worked for many organizations including NASA, MIT and various consultancy companies, such as Cooper Perkins, where he is working again now. He's also a Board member of ISEA (International Sports Engineering Association). Given his extensive experience and reputation in both academia & industry, it was an honor to speak with him about the past and future of sports tech and how R&D in our sector can, could or should be organized nowadays. Happy listening!
Martin O'Reilly - Creating a successful sports wearable tech spinout
Martin O’Reilly calls himself 'a passionate sports-wearables and analytics entrepreneur and researcher'. And he is! As a CEO & Co-Founder at Output Sports, which is a spinout of the University College Dublin in Ireland, Martin and his team went through an exciting journey from academic research to a sports wearable company in the market, focusing on physical therapists, strength & conditioning coaches and sports scientists. We talked about the PhD research behind, the financial and mentoring support to realize the spinout, the process they went through, and of course the continued interaction between company, academia, sports, government, user, etc. in the framework of holistic problem solving. Enjoy listening!
Patrick Burge - Sports Innovation from theory to practice
Working for Progressive Sports Technologies and many other organizations, Patrick Burge has a broad experience in topics as Innovation. Strategy. Startup and Scale-up Financing, etc. Supported by his dog Suzy (the first dog on the podcast 😀), Patrick is skilled in connecting the dots, asking the right questions, composing the best possible teams, etc. in order to make innovations happen. We talked about his vision on the role of academia in a commercial setting, the type of technologies most relevant in the next couple of years, and his favorite sports technology products to keep in shape himself. As always, hope you enjoy it (& don't forget to leave a comment).
Adam Karg - Research & Innovation in the Sports Management and Technology area
Working in the Sport Innovation Research group at the Swinburne University of Technology (Australia), Adam Karg is closely involved in various research projects in collaboration with industry, As a result, Adam is innovating in various areas of sports organization management, fan engagement, team & league marketing, etc. with the help of (his) research. Besides that, he is also the President of SMAANZ (The Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand) where he shares relevant insights within the research community. And so, we talked about strategies to increase the quality and impact of sports management and technology research relevant in various domains of the sports sector. Enjoy listening!
Jeroen Stragier - Wearables & analytics in digital health, sport and physical activity
Being a Senior researcher at Ghent University in the research group for Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies, Jeroen Stragier has worked on various aspects as motivational affordances of Online Fitness Community features, the use of Wearables, Mobile apps and Exergames in promoting physical activity, and the potential of new Media and Persuasive technologies to induce Behavioral change towards healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. In this episode, we discussed pro's and con's of academic research in this field in relation to technological advancements and commercializations in the industry, and the potential for innovation in this area. As always: happy listening and looking forward to your feedback!
Benjamin Kinsky - Studying the Sports Innovation Ecosystem
What's the status quo of sports innovation ecosystems, from both a theoretical and practical perspective? Benjamin Kinsky (Bundeswehr University Munich) is making his PhD on this interesting topic. We talked about the daily business in sports and why teams or leagues would/should focus on creating innovative products, services and processes, despite their limited time and financial resources. What are the gaps, where are the opportunities lying and how could more of the theory be implemented in the real world? Happy listening and if you like to contact Benjamin, you can find him here.
Giorgi Khubua - Starting, growing & selling a university (student) FitTech startup
In order to have student sport entrepreneurship to flourish, it helps to have some good practices and examples. Giorgi Khubua and his team created one with their smart mirror solution called Solos. The story started at the Technical University of Munich in 2016 and after winning prizes and attracting investments, the team recently sold the startup to a larger fitness company. In this episode, we talked about the technical & go-to-market challenges, the role of university startup programs and the mindset needed to be successful within the fitness sector. His favorite product (besides his own mirror): Peloton.
Jack Goodloe-Haßmann - The ins & outs of Research & Innovation at Puma
Jack Goodloe-Haßmann, Senior Manager Consumer Insights at Puma (at the time we spoke), explains his approach and vision within the Puma R&D process. We discussed the interaction between physical (material) versus sensor and digital innovations and the role of academic research for a company as Puma. Also: what will the future for Puma bring? Contact Jack Goodloe-Haßmann here.
Lode Goossens - The role of research in youth sports talent identification
During this episode of the podcast, Lode Goossens talks about the transition from the Ghent University spin-off SpartaNova to the re-start of the company under the name 'Hylyght'. We talked about the state-of-the-art in the sports talent identification research area, and the opportunities for automation using smart testing devices and machine learning models, creating purpose build algorithms & insights to be used by federations, clubs, etc. Contact Lode Goossens here.
Ted Hayduk - Bridging the gap between research & the sports world through data
During this podcast episode, Ted Hayduk, Assistant Professor at the Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport (New York University) discusses his research in the areas of sports entrepreneurship & innovation and the role of data analytics within it. Prof. Hayduk elaborates on how to bridge the gap between (his) research and the sports world. We also discussed some parts of his recently published book titled 'Statistical Modelling and Sports Business Analytics’.
Contact Prof. Ted Hayduk here.
Welcome to the Sports Tech Research Podcast!
In this intro episode, we shortly explain the purpose of our podcast and the topics we'll cover. Happy listening!