Sports Technology and Innovation Group
The Sports Technology and Innovation Group has been launched by Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to work with sport bodies to explore high-tech solutions to get fans back into venues.
The group will work closely with sports bodies and the Sport Grounds Safety Authority to explore the whole ‘fan journey’ – from home to venue – such as fans’ travelling to and from stadiums, as well as reducing crowding both inside and outside those venues.
Call for ideas
The Group has launched a call for solutions to enable the return of fans to sports grounds. It is asking companies with expertise in a range of areas to submit their products and/or innovations for review.
Further information and the submission form can be found on the Fan Return Solutions webpage.
Meeting summary notes
Meeting 2 – Tuesday 6 October
The meeting agreed the actions summary of the first meeting, and noted actions arising were either complete or in hand, including the public call for ideas which launched on 28 September 2020.
The DCMS Head of Sport outlined Project Moonshot’s planned work to trial mass testing technology, and how that can complement the Group’s own emerging plans to trial innovative products/services.
The ECB’s Director of Strategy gave a short presentation on recent research and development work and outlined four emerging themes on which to base future research, pilots and recommendations to Government: testing; technology; transport; and responsible fans.
In discussion, the Group agreed with the proposal to establish four sub-groups – one for each of the identified themes. In parallel, the SGSA agreed to convene a fifth sub-group to identify the events/venues best suited to staging pilots to test emerging products/services and engage with relevant central and local Government decision makers.
The Premier League’s Chief Medical Officer gave a presentation on current PL work on Digital Passports and Testing Trials. The Group agreed next steps to seek to deliver more such field work in the coming weeks as the Group starts to trial emerging ideas and innovations with fans.
Meeting 1 – Thursday 24 September
The meeting agreed the purpose and vision of the Group, the membership and the terms of reference.
The ECB’s Director of Strategy gave a short presentation on the challenges associated with the return of greater capacity crowds at major sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic, covering all aspects of the spectator journey – before, during and after an event.
In discussion, the Group agreed in principle to the development of a series of problem statements to articulate the challenges clearly. The Group further agreed that the problem statements should be used to frame a public call for ideas as soon as possible to identify potential new technologies and other innovations.
The SGSA Secretariat agreed to act as a clearing house for all ideas received, including from individual Group members, with shortlisted ideas shared with the group as they become available. The Group recognised that such an approach was vital to support iterative and incremental working over the coming weeks, as the Group provides ongoing advice to Government on how to enable the safe return of fans to live sport.
The members of the Sports Technology and Innovation Group:
- Chair: David Ross (co-founder of Carphone Warehouse and Non Executive Director of the British Olympic Association)
- Professor James Calder (Sports medic, DCMS advisor)
- Natalie Ceeney CBE (Vice Chair of Sport England and Chair of Innovate Finance)
- Professor Nick Gent (SAGE Spi-M, epidemiologist)
- Gary Hoffman (Chair, Premier League)
- Derrick McCourt (General Manager, Customer Services, Microsoft UK)
- Sally Munday MBE (Chief Executive, UK Sport)
- Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England)
- Shashi Verma (Director of Strategy and Chief Technology Officer, Transport for London)