Victoria has a global reputation as a major sporting events capital, with a world-class sporting infrastructure and calendar of events that adds over $2.5 billion per year to the state’s economy.
The state government has invested billions of dollars in sports, whether through supporting community sports infrastructure, upgrading major venues, or giving financial support to the Australian Sports Technologies Network as well as the Manufacturing Productivity Networks (MPN) scheme,
Major and high-performance sports events take place at more than 40 facilities, including:
- the Grand Prix Track at Albert Park Lake, which hosts the Australian Formula One Grand Prix every year and accommodates 100,000 people
- Marvel Stadium, Melbourne’s largest indoor stadium, which regularly hosts AFL, cricket, rugby and soccer matches
- Flemington Racecourse, home to the Spring Racing carnival
- GMHBA Stadium, a purpose-built stadium in Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong
- the Melbourne Sandbelt Golf Courses, rated some of the best in the world.
At the forefront of sportstech
Bringing together the love of sport, an advanced R&D ecosystem and a thriving tech sector, Victoria is also at the forefront of sportstech in Australia. Melbourne is home to more than 65% of Australia’s sportstech companies, which are developing products in media, artificial intelligence, entertainment, stadium design and management, major events, wearables and e-sports.
A rich R&D ecosystem
Victoria’s sports sector is supported by a rich research and education ecosystem. Victorian universities are among the world‘s leading sports science and sports business education institutions. Institutes and centres include:
- the Australian Sports Innovation Centre of Excellence, which is driving sportstech innovation backed by a $4 million investment from the Victorian Government
- the Victorian Institute of Sport, which works with elite athletes alongside programs of research built on industry and community partnerships.
- the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University, which conducts research in exercise science, technology, biomedical sciences, technology and community health, and is ranked 9th globally for sport science education.
- the La Trobe Sport Performance Hub, a high-performance athlete, research and community sport development hub
- the Deakin Centre for Sport Research, which aims to innovate and enhance health and performance in sports participation through partnerships.
The state is home to several accelerators and incubators that bring together industry, researchers and investors to develop, commercialise and promote innovation in sport. These include:
- Techstars Sportstech Accelerator at Victoria University
- Startupbootcamp EventTech Accelerator
- ASTN-GSIC Pre-Accelerator and the ASTN Accelerator
- the Victorian Innovation Hub.
Companies such Catapult Sports, Champion Data, NetFit, Rosterfy, SPT (Sports Performance Tracking), Sports Tech World Series, Alerte Equine Science, Linius Technologies are commercialising world-class sport technology research and exporting it to the world.
Global pioneers Cape Bionics, who deliver world-class artificial intelligence tools, e-sports platforms and consumer engagement applications, have established a presence in Victoria.
Incentives, grants and support
The government’s investment attraction agency, Invest Victoria, works with international companies seeking to enter the Australian market by identifying opportunities, providing assistance with business cases, and facilitating introductions to partners, suppliers, recruiters and government agencies.
Catapult Sports is a Melbourne startup that is commercialising world-class sport technology research and exporting it to the world. Catapult’s hardware and software provide elite sporting organisations and athletes with detailed real time data and analytics to monitor and measure performance. Its solutions have been used by close to 3,000 sports teams and organisations worldwide, including nearly half of the teams competing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Born out of a collaboration between the Australian Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in 1999, today Catapult is an ASX listed company valued at around $200 million.