Smart Move, an academic network for sports

Smart Move is a network of academic institutions that aims to turn the Lake Geneva region into an internationally renowned center for sports-related research and training. This network of nine institutions - including EPFL - will work to cultivate cross-disciplinary projects and strengthen ties with other entities that have an interest in this field. Network members will be present at The Spot, a sports-themed event to be held on 15 and 16 May at the SwissTech Convention Center.

A number of academic institutions in the Lake Geneva region are active and possess expertise in the field of sports and physical exercise. Smart Move is an academic network that brings these institutions together with the aim of turning the Lake Geneva region - and particularly Vaud Canton - into an internationally renowned center for sports-related training and research. In a region that is well known for its dense sports ecosystem and that plays host to numerous international sports federations, Smart Move will serve to highlight the academic know-how on offer in order to encourage partnerships with and among these institutions.

One of the Lake Geneva region’s untapped assets is the highly diverse range of academic expertise in such a small area. The Smart Move network will seek to unlock this potential by fostering partnerships and cross-disciplinary projects within a flexible framework. The network will also help enhance the visibility of each of the academic institutions involved and facilitate access to their sports-related services.

Nine academic institutions

Through their various research projects, the academic institutions play their respective part in developing specific expertise that can be applied to the field of sports and physical exercise and in imparting that knowledge through teaching and technology transfer. The institutions involved and their areas of expertise are:

  • University of Lausanne (UNIL): Humanities and life sciences

  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) & School of Business and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD): Technology

  • Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) & University of Health Sciences (HESAV): Health care and medicine

  • Lausanne Hotel School (EHL): Hospitality

  • University of Teacher Education, State of Vaud (HEP Vaud): Education

  • University of Geneva (UNIGE): International sports governance

  • Lausanne University of Art and Design (ECAL): Design

In addition to the above institutions, the region is home to: ISSUL, a specialized sports training and research institute based at UNIL; SSU, the university sports service at UNIL and EPFL; and AISTS, a foundation that offers a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in sports management.

Complementary roles

Initial estimates suggest that the above institutions house more than one hundred laboratories active in fields that are or could be directly applicable to sports. These laboratories each have their own unique expertise and areas of focus that complement those of the others. On that basis, they will be asked to contribute to specific projects as needed. Having access to such a broad range of know-how is a major asset, since sports are by nature a highly cross-disciplinary field.

The academic network is a flexible platform that will foster collaborations between member institutions and both local organizations (such as sports federations and ThinkSport) and international ones. It will also make it easier to coordinate projects, create contacts and identify the services available in a range of fields, thereby cultivating cross-disciplinary projects. The network offers a single point of entry for partners, helping them to easily find the expertise they need.

The network is seeking to strengthen the academic sector’s involvement in sports in the run-up to a number of major upcoming sporting events in this region and in support of the region’s institutional development and economic growth

The Spot

Wondering what the future of sport will look like? Going forward, technology will change how sport is practised, governed and even conceptualized. To find out more, come to The Spot. Launched by ThinkSport, this unique event aims to help advance sport by bringing together the greatest minds and the latest innovations. The Spot will take place on 15 and 16 May 2018 at the Swiss Tech Convention Center in Lausanne, Switzerland.