Various stakeholders in European ice hockey have decided to establish a Technology and Innovation Group. Its objective is to be a specialist body to support the European leagues and its clubs be better informed to make better decisions about sports technology innovations and the investments that come with it.
The Technology and Innovation Group was provisionally established following a meeting in Copenhagen on 16 May 2018, during the IIHF World Championships.
T&I Group was given the assignment to work as a binding body between the European leagues, to encourage and initiate knowledge exchange, to drive and supervise pan-European development and projects to develop European Hockey.
It was determined that the T&I Group should have the following goals and objectives:
- To work as a binding body between the European leagues and foster transfer of knowledge
- To become a specialist and reference body to support the leagues and its clubs to be better informed to make better decisions about sports technology innovations and the investments that come with it
- To centralize projects to eliminate redundant work
- To centralize money for projects that could not be financed by one league or one stakeholder alone
The desired side effects should be that leagues would save time and money by finding smarter and more cost-effective solutions which fit their needs, thus achieving better results in the area of sports technology, which currently is in a state of enormous development and with many companies offering services.
The T&I Group should be also a forum where leagues and clubs can discuss, find support and be introduced to the latest in technology and innovation, including trends in other pro team sports and in ice hockey elsewhere.
Finally, the T&I Group should support the European leagues and clubs to attract more people to hockey and increase fan engagement.
The mandate for the first tasks are:
- Club / Arena / Spectators infrastructure survey
- Tools used survey (hardware / software)
- League & Club requirements (Player / Puck tracking system)
The T&I Group has the ambition to present further goals and tasks, as well as the first infrastructure survey and requirements list at the E.H.C. Hockey Business Forum on 6 October in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The meeting in Copenhagen named the following people to be the provisional task force:
Jörg von Ameln – Deutsche EishockeyLiga, DEL
Philipp Bohnenblust – Swiss Ice Hockey / National League
Johan Ejermark – Everysport / Eliteprospects
Thorsten Apel – SportContract
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Photo: Marian Ježowicz