Sport and knowledge can create growth

Sports stars, business people and researchers meet at the innovation conference at Aarhus University on 4 March. The theme is innovation and growth in the slipstream of major sporting events such as the Olympics.

[Translate to English:] Innovationskonference på AU skal belyse, hvordan forskningen på AU kan hjælpe virksomheder med at løse elitesportens udfordringer.

How do you match the researchers’ knowledge with elite sport’s technological needs and desire for new materials? Which companies will be able to produce the right equipment to bring Danish Olympic athletes closer to medals - and at the same time create growth and exports?

These are the subjects that will be up for discussion when 28 elite sports federations meet researchers, business people and other interested parties at Aarhus University on 4 March. The conference invitees are Team Danmark, the event-based innovation programme EVINN from Aarhus University and IT Forum Central Jutland.

Two of Denmark’s Olympic stars in the shape of the oarsman Eskild Ebbesen and yachtsman Allan Nørregaard are among those backing the event. Drawing on their own experiences, they will talk about how important it is to think in new ways and contribute to product development if you want to remain at the top of your sport for many years.

Bicycle helmet or football simulator?

The aim is to get the business community involved in the preparations for the Olympics so that they can work together with the elite federations to create new products, which in turn can create new jobs and increase the chances of Denmark winning medals at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Team Danmark has thus identified several areas within the development and production of new technology and materials that are particularly relevant to Danish elite sports. These include e.g. bicycle helmets with minimal air resistance, GPS tracking for yachtsmen and football simulators, as well as an analysis set-up to assess athletes’ biomechanical characteristics.

Knowledge and desire can provide growth

“Elite sport faces special challenges, research at Aarhus University has the knowledge that can help companies to solve these challenges, and we have an important partner in the ACTIVE Institute who can establish ties between the various partners,” says Vice-Dean for Knowledge Exchange J. Michael Hasenkam, Aarhus University.
He is looking forward to seeing new collaborations unfold and merge scientific knowledge and product requirements - preferably with jobs to follow.

“In other words, we will use the conference to build bridges between elite sport, researchers and companies that will turn the sporting vision into reality. The sports federations have lots of visions and are interested in developing the area - and hopefully one of the effects will be to derive strong growth,” says project manager, Associate Professor Klavs Madsen from Aarhus University.

See the day’s programme.



  • Aarhus University is lead partner for the project EVINN, which is partly financed by the EU’s Inter-regional programme for the Kattegat-Skagerrak area (KASK), and partly by 11 Southern Scandinavian partners in Norway, Sweden and Denmark respectively. The project also includes support from the Central Denmark Region, Region Västre Götaland and Innovation Norway.
  • ACTIVE Institute is a business-oriented association that is affiliated with Aarhus University. It can establish ties and create interaction between businesses, researchers and organisations.
  • The Innovation Workshop is open to Swedish, Norwegian and Danish companies who are interested in investigating new business potential in professional sport.
  • Technology companies can register free of charge for the conference on the IT Forum’s website until 26 February.


Further information:

Project Coordinator Mette Kanstrup
Aarhus University, Department of Public Health
Direct tel: +45 8716 8193
Mobile: +45 2013 2352

Vice-Dean Michael Hasenkam
Aarhus University, Health
Direct tel: +45 8715 2007
Mobile: +45 4091 3616

Consultant Jens Meibom
Team Danmark
Mobile: +45 4027 2326