GSIC and Sport Singapore launch innovation challenge with ‘problem statements’

A new sports technology innovation competition has been launched in Singapore that invites companies to create solutions to real-world challenges and problems posed by sports industry organisations.

The inaugural International Sports Groundbreakers Challenge is being run by national sports agency Sport Singapore and the Global Sports Innovation Centre (GSIC), the Microsoft-backed global sports technology network. It offers a S$15,000 ($11,000) prize for up to 10 winning participants who are either Singapore-based or are willing to relocate to the city.

Sports industry organisations have contributed ‘problem statements’ to the challenge which start-ups and innovators will be invited to solve. The problem statements include requests for help in areas such as:

  • Producing a paperless system to identify and track runners at mass participation events
  • Improving atmosphere at venues that are not able to sell out at full capacity
  • How to monitor crowd flow, queues and staff locations at a stadium with a high degree of precision in terms of space and time
  • Automating the collection of statistics in mixed martial arts
  • Producing a low-cost, portable ring for combat sports training

The problem statements were submitted by 20 organisations including private businesses, sports academies and national sports associations in Singapore and overseas. They were submitted in five categories: fan engagement; smart venues; athlete performance; sustainability; and ‘sport for good’.

Entrants are invited from around the world to propose technological solutions to the problem statements. Accepted entrants will have opportunities to pilot their solutions at sports events or organisations that are partners of the initiative. Winners will also get support from Microsoft, mentoring, and PR and marketing opportunities.

Entries must be submitted by January 23, 2023 and the winners of the first challenge will be announced in April 2023.

Announcing the initiative, Roy Teo, chief of industry development, technological and innovation group at SportSG, said: “We look forward to uncovering some trailblazing and innovative technological solution that address the individual problem statements.”

Microsoft sports managing director and GSIC president Sebastian Lancestremere said: “One of GSIC’s main goals has always been to provide access to innovative digital solutions for the region’s sports entities through a robust partner ecosystem…This will be an invaluable opportunity for our members to showcase their technological solutions and expand the organisation’s footprint beyond their home base.”

Full information on the International Sports Groundbreakers Challenge can be found on the official website.

GSIC has its Asia-Pacific base in Singapore, and recently celebrated its first year in the city by hosting the GSIC Apac Summit.