Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Sport England - Innovation challenge

Sport England today challenged innovators – both within and beyond the sport sector – to come forward with ground-breaking concepts and solutions that will shape community sport over the next decade.

This is the opportunity to unearth the ideas that will transform grassroots sport and help create a lasting sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The best innovations, and the people who can turn them into reality, will benefit from expert support and investment through Sport England’s new Innovation Fund. £5 million of National Lottery funding is available each year, through a highly competitive process, with up to 20 projects expected to secure investment.

Sport England wants to hear about innovations that will:

  • Unlock a major barrier to participation in sport
  • Exploit technology to deliver sport at new times, in new settings or to new audiences
  • Inspire more people to take up a sport by creatively adapting an existing game.

Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said:

“Great ideas are priceless, so we need to do all we can to encourage innovative thinking if we’re to achieve a genuine breakthrough in growing sports participation.”

Applications to Sport England’s Innovation Fund will be assessed on a competitive basis by a panel of experts in sport and innovation, including a representative from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

The Secretary of State for Innovation, John Denham MP, said:

“In a tough economic climate, it’s more important than ever to innovate, whether you want to improve profit margins or attract more people to sport. By supporting innovation and reaching out beyond the world of sport for ideas and expertise, Sport England will ultimately secure a better return on its investment.”

Sport England will only invest in innovations which, if successful, could be rolled out across the country in a way that is both cost-effective and sustainable. This will ensure that the benefits of the Innovation Fund are felt across the sporting landscape.

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