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New World-Class Sports Tech Hub to Launch in Victoria

The Victorian Government is backing the state’s growing sports technology sector with a $4 million investment to establish the Australian Sports Innovation Centre for Excellence in Cremorne.

The centre will support the creation of up to 2,000 tech jobs in four years by fast-tracking the commercialisation of new products and attracting national and international partnership opportunities for Victoria’s growing sports technology sector.

The centre will be led by the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN), the nation’s lead industry body for sports tech and innovation, and will be connected to the state’s flagship Digital Hub in Cremorne. ASTN’s network of more than 500 Australian-based sports innovation companies will be connected to the centre and they will continue to help companies develop and expand globally.

Victoria is already home to more than 65 per cent of Australia’s sports tech companies with operations like Prahran-headquartered Catapult Sports, a wearable technologies company with contracts across major leagues including the AFL, NRL, EPL, NHL and the Bundesliga, leading the way.

The centre will further bolster Victoria’s position as Australia’s leader in sports tech by helping Australian startups and entrepreneurs, building on the legacy of local companies. The businesses and tech leaders based at the centre will benefit from trade and strategic leadership opportunities, as well as connections to new industry partnerships and research collaborations.

More than 7,500 people are currently employed in Victoria’s sports technology sector in companies developing products in areas like media, artificial intelligence, entertainment, stadiums, major events, wearables and e-sports.

The Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy stated that with a rapidly growing tech sector and an established reputation as Australia’s sporting capital, Victoria is perfectly positioned to become a leader in the global sports-tech industry. She added that the Government has seen the potential in the region’s sports innovation sector to commercialise and scale-up new products to international markets and create exciting opportunities for Victoria.

Meanwhile, the Member for Richmond stated that having the brightest minds in sports technology come to Cremorne to share ideas and grow their businesses will be a huge boost for the area. The Australian Sports Technology Net Board Chair also noted that for the first time, Australia will have a dedicated centre of excellence where the sector can connect, celebrate, learn skills, initiate further exports and benchmark best practices in sports technology, innovation and digital.

The global sports technology market was valued at US$17.9 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$40.2 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 17.5% between 2021 and 2026. In recent years, professional sports bodies have adopted new technologies such as sports data analytics, smart stadiums, wearable devices, and digital signage to enhance their team performance, engage fans, and provide smart infrastructures. Smart stadiums are among the key global trends owing to the increase in the number of sports events being held worldwide.

APAC is a high potential market for sports technology, with vast opportunities for the development and implementation of new technologies. China, Japan, India, Australia, and Singapore are constructing new stadiums and redeveloping the existing ones. China is the biggest sports technology market in APAC.

The emergence of new sports leagues in the region is driving the demand for smart stadium infrastructure to compete with international leagues and create new revenue streams. Sports organizations, such as the Melbourne Cricket Association, Sahara Force India, Indian Premier League (IPL), New Zealand Cricket, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), use smart technologies for hosting major international and domestic tournaments. APAC countries are emerging players in professional sports, with the popularity of professional leagues and tournaments in the region growing rapidly.

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