The Australian Sports Technologies Network Launched

The Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) launched in April, 2012

The launch of the Australian Sports Technologies Network, (ASTN) in Victoria by Sports Technologies Enterprises is a strong indication that the world is beginning to realize the magnitude of the Sports Technology market size. The market size of the Sports Technology space is estimated to be about $200 billion by the ASTN.

The Gillard Government has provided $225,000 in funding to establish the new Australian Sports Technologies Network and invest in Australia’s continued improvements in sporting performance. The ASTN is a national collaborative network with the aim of fostering the development of the Australian Sports Technologies industry. This new Platform or sports business model created by Australia and the ASTN is unprecedented and a valid concept which may be duplicated worldwide.

ASTN Web Site:


Federal Minister for Sport, Senator Kate Lundy and James Demetriou, the new ASTN chairman

ABC Contact Sport spoke with Federal Minister for Sport Senator Kate Lundy and James Demetriou, the new chairman of the ASTN, about how this concept began four years ago with the help of University of Cal Berkeley professor David Myers; the inventor of the Blade football boot. This new sports tech business had its beginnings at the Enterprise Connect Innovative Centre in Geelong. They added another UC Berkeley Professor, Jerry Engel, to the team who developed an innovative eco-system for sports technology. The Minister of Australia finally trusted his instinct and funded the ASTN this past April in order to push businesses that export Sports Technology.

THE ASTN Channel Youtube:

“This new network has the potential to unearth a new wave of Australian-made Sports Technologies,” Senator Lundy said. The Minsitry hopes that the Sports Tech innovation and existing track record Australia possesses will help them succeed with their new ASTN sports business initiatives while simultaneously attracting venture capital. The new government support for Sports Technology also compliments the Olympic focus Australia has as nation through high performance support.

This ASTN states: “they are a not-for-profit member-based organisation comprising leaders across the entire ‘sports eco-system’ in Australia, including sports tech firms, national sporting organisations, sports retailers and marketers, universities, researchers, and investors.” The ASTN launch partners include four universities, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), eight sports technology enterprises, venture capitalists and Information Technology experts.

The ASTN will support researchers, offer collaboration, create “best practices,” add to job creation needs, and help their countries economic growth, in what is being called a “smart spin by the Federal government according Senator Lundy. The Aussie government wants the network to assist with business growth by offering a market center, opportunities for small business owners to pitch their company in competitions, and via venture capital investments.

ASTN Goals:

  • Better capitalise on Australia’s world class sporting reputation to promote sports technologies capability and development.
  • Create a nationally recognised body to coordinate industry stakeholders to take advantage of domestic and international commercial opportunities.
  • Provide a platform for key sports tech stakeholders to easily collaborate to pursue research and commercial opportunities.
  • Maximise opportunities to commercialise sports technologies in both the professional and recreational market.
  • Facilitate formal access to commercialisation expertise and investment capital to guide sports technologies development.

Placing Sports Technology products and technologies into the International market place is the new name of the game in Australia. ASTN funding by the Australian Federal Government in a global economy is Sports Techie smart.

Australian Sports Technologies Network Panel:

The ASTN eco-system helps companies network with experts and entrepreneurs while leveraging relationships with athletes, sports scientists and end users. Each region offers advice from local Universities on advanced materials and manufacuring techniques. Research for validation before release is an important business step that is part of the ASTN process. Other services, marketing, and funding opportunites are additional help offered through the network. When a Sports Technology company grows they are able to hire which is a fundamental step in any countries overall business growth. At the same time, job growth and opportunity in the Sports Technology industry attracts qualified candidates from the Universities and throughout the world.

ASTN Agenda:

A 3-year ASTN business plan has been written and James said everyone would, “start to see results within 12 months.” In its first year, the Network will focus on projects that bring technology developers together, examine market opportunities and support product exposure and marketing.

Collaborator: Collaborating to improve commercial outcomes for sports technologies developers
Marketer: Co-ordinating sales and business development opportunities for sports technologies firms
: Communication and networking through events, conferences and all media
Loudspeaker: Single communication point for the sports technologies industry

The ASTN has updated guidelines that constitute “best practices” forcing companies to have to clean up their systems to sharpen up their act, and have more governance in place, before landing any Federal funding.

Sports Technology is a $200 Billion Market:

A new industry market study of the fragmented sports tech market, which has never been done, is next for the ASTN. James shared that Sports Technology may be the third largest global industry, nearing the size of Aeronautics. Sports Technology may be in upwards of a $200 billion market when considering apparel, equipment, Solutions, and all the rest discussed in our previous Sports Techie blog:

How Big a Market is Sports Technology?

Victoria University:

The ASTN is integrated with a world leading research institute. Sports Technology research began here 20 years ago in Australia with the invention of a receiver point. A large number of Sports Techie students attend diverse Sports Technology classes that are offered at Victoria University, ranging from Certificates to PH. D. degrees. The two-year old institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living is of central importance to the University and ASTN goals.

The University $68 million investment in laboratories was created to foster Sports Science and Sports Technology in the fastest growing urban region in Australia. Sports, Exercise and Active Living staff consists of 40 new staffers since the Institution opened, plus the 100 existing staff and transitional PHD students, for a grand total of 200. Their aim is to effect high performance sport, sports participation and chronic disease. Students and new graduates in sports engineering and sports science feel a part of an industry of the future.

ATSN Partnerships:

Partners of the ASTN include the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). The AIS has traction in high performance sport and mechanisms projects. The ASC participates in sports and has an impact on health. The ASTN formal partnership with the Western Bulldogs of the Australian Rules Football League (AFL) allows them to work with sport and have a role in the disadvataged communities.

Aussie swimming Sports Technology will be exported with support of ASTN

Sports Technology Startup Success:

Catapult Sports is a startup that began as a University research project. Catapult formalized into a business after developing a proprietary GPS and inertial sensors device that trains and monitors athletes. Research or team sports can track and analyze how an athlete is performing compared with the benchmarks set by sports performance and sports scientists. They work with a variety of sports and teams such as soccer, football, Liverpool, six AFL teams, motocross, rowing, and Olympic sports and partners. Catapult has over 200 elite Universities and Research Institution users.

The next sports business step for the ASTN is expansion to Brisbane, the U.S. and Europe. Maintaining a competitive edge for athletes and providing SMB funding are central to the ASTN plan. The ASTN will focus on Sports Technology, not high performance projects. A heartfelt example of a Paralympic athlete without Sports Technology support is an issue the whole world faces as a new challenge. The ASTN is in place to capitalize on the exploding Sports Technology industry by seeding, incubating, and marketing, new or existing commercialized businesses so they can become the “Silicon Valley of Sports Technology.”

THE Sports Techie:

Sports Techie, President Obama is campaigning again that small business is a key to the United States domestic economic recovery. By morphing that Presidential goal with the ASTN business model, the United States may soon institute a similar plan for our country. Hello Nike and ESPN.

The Aussie’s have a head start with the ASTN. England had a record haul of medals earned during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by focusing on Sports Technologies. Will the UK be next? Undoubtedly, Russia, Brazil, Germany, France, Japan, and China are in. What about India?  Every nation and company will want in on the new Sports Technology business pie.

In the end, the entire world benefits, including animals, because Sports Technology helps us all lead a more fit, healthy, employed, connected and happy world. So say we all.

I will see ya when I see ya, THE Sports Techie

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7 responses to “The Australian Sports Technologies Network Launched”

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