Skillnet Innovation Exchange and Sport Ireland partner to support the digital transformation of Irish sport

Nov 28th, 2023

(L-R) Oonagh Fox, Skillnet Innovation Exchange; Dr Una May, Sport Ireland Chief Executive Officer; Minister Thomas Byrne; Mark Jordan, Skillnet Ireland Chief Strategy Officer and Benny Cullen, Sport Ireland.

 

Skillnet Innovation Exchange has announced an ambitious new collaboration with Sport Ireland which is designed to support the digital transformation of sport in Ireland.

Through the newly launched Digital for Sport initiative, Skillnet Innovation Exchange will invite technology solutions providers to pitch to, and collaborate with, sports organisations across Ireland looking to harness the power of digital technology to increase efficiencies and performance.

Sport Ireland is the authority responsible for the development of sport in Ireland. The organisation works with the 60 governing bodies of sport and a network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships.

The collaboration was launch at the inaugural Sport and Innovation Technology Summit held at the Sport Ireland Campus, on Tuesday, November 28th, where Skillnet Innovation Exchange called on digital solutions providers to explore how their solutions can be applied to the world of sports management and performance.

The initiative is expected to achieve improved digital adoption across the Irish sports ecosystem, including streamlining administrative processes, optimising data management and communications and improving the understanding of participants performance and experience.

Speaking the inaugural Sport and Innovation Technology Summit, Thomas Byrne TD, Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, said: “Innovation and collaboration are core values of the Government’s National Sports Policy, so I am delighted to see this new partnership taking place between Skillnet Innovation Exchange and Sport Ireland, which will support the digital transformation of the Irish sports sector. Technology has an impact on most aspects of our lives and so I want to commend all of the sports organisations, researchers and enterprises who came together today at the Sport Innovation and Technology Summit, to explore what role technology will play in shaping the future of sport in Ireland.”

Commenting on the launch of the new partnership between Skillnet Innovation Exchange and Sport Ireland, Mark Jordan, Chief Strategy Officer, Skillnet Ireland, said: “Digital transformation is one of the most significant challenges facing organisations across all sectors. This collaboration between Skillnet Innovation Exchange and Sport Ireland gives sport bodies the opportunity to access the talent required to enjoy the benefits of digital technology.”

Conor Carmody, Programme Director at Skillnet Innovation Exchange, said: “This new collaboration between Sport Ireland and Skillnet Innovation Exchange will offer many SMEs the opportunity to collaborate with sporting organisations across Ireland, bridging the innovation divide and strengthening the Irish sport ecosystem. With today’s announcement we are thrilled to expand our offering and look forward to seeing the challenges and solutions develop in the next few years”.

Meanwhile, Benny Cullen, Director of Research and Innovation at Sport Ireland, said: “The recently launched Sport Ireland strategy aims to drive innovation through creative collaborations across the sports sector and the promotion of a digital first approach. This new partnership with Skillnet Innovation Exchange will help Irish sport to deliver on these ambitions. This initiative will provide tailored supports to the Irish sport sector and Irish enterprise to help foster new partnerships and develop innovative digital solutions in sport.”

Since its inception two years ago, 30 challenges have been published by Skillnet Innovation Exchange for companies with a digital challenge and 10 deals have been done between companies facing a challenge and companies with the ability to solve them. To date, Skillnet Innovation Exchange has successfully partnered with regional innovation hubs such as The Ludgate Hub, the Galway Technology Centre, GreenTech HQ, The Mill Hub and the RDI Hub.

Skillnet Innovation Exchange is inviting digital solutions providers to join its marketplace for innovation at www.theinnovationexchange.ie.

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