08 June 2012
RMIT co-founds sports tech network
The Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy, has launched a network bringing together universities, sports technology enterprises and other industry players to help develop sporting technologies.
The Federal Government has provided $225,000 to establish the Australian Sports Technologies Network, based in Geelong.
The network's foundation partners include RMIT, Victoria, Griffith and Deakin universities, the CSIRO, eight sports technology enterprises, venture capitalists and information technology experts.
In its first year, the network will focus on projects that bring technology developers together, examine market opportunities and support product exposure and marketing.
Professor Franz Fuss, leader of the SportzEdge program within RMIT's Platform Technologies Research Institute, said the global sports business was worth $US800 billion annually – as big as the global aerospace industry.
"Participation in sport becomes more important for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity, and thus is expected to have a positive impact on national and global health budgets," he said.
"The establishment of the ASTN provides RMIT with an avenue to connect with industry networks to pursue research and business opportunities to further strengthen its research capacity in the field of sports technology.
"The SportzEdge team is currently developing new initiatives to conduct research in human movement and sports science; sports engineering and technology; and design, customisation and sustainability of sports products."
Professor Fuss said the focus of the research would be to develop smart and intelligent sports equipment, customised and optimised sports products, sustainable and advanced manufacturing of sports equipment, as well as medical application of sports-related research.
"We are aiming for our research to have an impact on the future of sport and its equipment, on the development of future generations of athletes and spectators, as well as contributing to improvement of global health," he said.
Professor Fuss has been appointed as advisor to the ASTN Board, a reflection of RMIT's standing in the world of sports engineering research.
Professor Franz Fuss, leader of the SportzEdge program within RMIT's Platform Technologies Research Institute.