The Portuguese presidency hosted its seminar on Sport Innovation: Beyond Business as Usual on 16-17th June 2021. 
In his introductory remarks, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, Portuguese Minister of Education, explained that a lot of economic growth is linked to innovation. It provides opportunities for social cohesion, economic growth, education, the green transition and sustainability. Physical activity improves wellbeing, so it is important that it is supported by innovation.  
Several sessions took place throughout these two days, focusing on how innovation is impacting the sport sector, challenges and opportunities, European funds, and urban planning. All participants agreed that innovation is necessary and mandatory, especially since physical activity and sport are factors of healthy individuals and healthy societies. Indeed, innovation strongly developed and impacted the sport sector, either through new ways of being active or through sport equipment. There are many opportunities that arose with the pandemic, especially regarding the digitalization and the digital transformation of the sector. Proper funding is now needed to share best practices and to build policies towards more innovation. Innovation benefits everyone, and its impact on the sector is an early sign of this.  
The Lisboa call was also launched during this meeting, which seeks to create innovative solutions to support the post-COVID recovery and a return to sport. It aims to promote health-enhancing physical activity, and the growth of the economy, by sharing best practices and strengthening cooperation. The call is based around 7 actions and aims to promote mainstream sport innovation; develop a holistic and cross-sectoral approach to promote healthy lifestyles; foster research, knowledge-building and dissemination; foster co-innovation, mission-oriented and community-led innovation; promote data collection and monitoring; cooperation, advocacy and awareness raising; bridging local, national and European innovation. 
More information of the Seminar
More information on the Lisboa Call
Jun 17, 2021 By Pauline Joskin