ProFit has been the start of an exciting journey that I hope will bring about a new road for sport and exercise innovation.
Cees van Bladel, project leader ProFit on behalf of Sports and Technology
What is a FieldLab?
A FieldLab for sports innovation is a research and development location in a real-life urban setting where citizens engage in sports and play activities. For example in a playground, a sports field or in the public space. A FieldLab initiates and stimulates cooperation between sports, business as well as knowledge, health and government institutes.
In a golden triangle they work together on development, validation, realisation and introduction of new products, services, interventions and facilities. Scientist and students do research and gather data. Start-ups can try out new ideas. Businesses can install new product prototypes or production models to have them tested by end-users as part of regular sports activities. A FieldLab therefore is an instrument for sports innovation and a breeding place that facilitates business creation. At the same time, cities create attractive spaces that contribute to health and well-being, their citizens will have new playgrounds to meet and have fun.
Public private partnership
The concept originates from Eindhoven (Netherlands). In 2008 the first facility of this kind was realised on municipality sports grounds in a cooperative structure between public and private parties. From new playground equipment for children to exercise programs for the elderly; from the monitoring of playing young people to a model to support sports clubs; and from the development of LED lighting for sports facilities to testing of multifunctional sports surfaces. In the past years a range of new products, services, facilities and interventions have been developed and tested in practice in the FieldLab in Eindhoven.