Sporting Innovation

Posted on: June 17, 2009

Through Innovation Manchester last year, we brought together cross-sectoral groups to identify opportunities for innovation growth in different business areas, one of which was sport.

Sport is a key sector in its own right, but also one which is closely inter-related with other economic sectors, including fashion, clothing, textiles, science, medicine, construction, financial and professional – the list goes on! Of course sport also has significant strategic importance for MCR in terms of brand and cultural offer.

Manchester has been hugely successful in attracting high quality world events, the city hosts the World Academy of Sport, and our universities excel in Sport Sciences. With these incredible sporting assets, it is hardly surprising that Manchester is an incredible sporting brand with a great international reputation.

In addition to all this,  BBC Sport will move to Media City in 2011, providing great supply chain opportunities for businesses who link media and digital technologies with sport. So we must have a great ecosystem of small businesses supporting the ‘Business of Sport’, right? Well I’m not so sure…

M:KC are in the process of researching just what assets and activities  make up this sporting infrastructure, and sports related media seems to be one area where we might be punching below our weight. I attended the Sport & Technology conference in London a couple of weeks ago, and despite an international audience, Mancunians were few & far between.

I’d love to get your input. Is there a mass of Sport / tech business activity out there that we haven’t come across yet? How can we support those sporting assets that we have, to provide more and better opportunities for all local business, but not least those in technology, digital and media?  NWDA will raising some of the wider sport supply chain questions at an upcoming NW Business Insider event in September

What I’d really like to discuss, is how can we make better connections between our Sport, research and business community to pick up the pace of innovation, change and growth in MCR? World wide innovation in sport and technology continues apace , but how can we maximise that benefit here in Manchester?


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