Supporting local industry through research and innovation in sport science

Katherine Moss
Dr Lex Mauger

Kent’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences hosted a one-day industry engagement workshop to help local industry work with the University through collaborations in research, innovation, and education.

The School welcomed 15 organisations from across a range of different sectors including SMEs, charities, local schools, professional sports clubs, sports governing bodies, and the NHS, to make connections and hear from them about how to build a more collaborative future.

The day started with a showcase of short presentations on current projects from existing partners – including Gillingham FC, Kent MS Therapy Centre and Powerbreathe. After a Q&A on these case studies, guests enjoyed a networking lunch as well as guided tours of the schools’ facilities.

After lunch there was a roundtable discussion where attendees discussed what they wanted from a collaboration – and any barriers they face in setting up a partnership – and how the School could support them. It also helped highlight the placement options for Kent students, and how local secondary schools can work with the University.

Dr Lex Mauger, Reader in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences and event organiser, said: ‘It is really important for universities to understand what we can do to work better with external organisations. This event was about creating the environment and opportunity for our external stakeholders and partners to discuss with us what is working well, the barriers they face in collaborations with universities, and what we can do to break these down. It was fantastic to see so many of our current and future external partners here today, and the feedback we have received is very encouraging. The School is looking forward to building on this momentum and using this event to further shape our strategy to continue to improve how we work with our external collaborators.’

David Lloyd, CMO at RefSix said: ‘This was our first academic event and it was very well organised and very detailed – made us very motivated to start working with the university. We particularly loved mixing with a varied group of organisations and it sparked ideas, conversations, and connections.’

Tim Brownstone, CEO of Kymira, added: ‘It was clear that the SSES team really wants to understand their industrial partners, our needs, and preferences. This is really appreciated!’

Heidi Coleman from the Kent MS Therapy Centre, who already partner with Kent through the Parkinson Centre, said: ‘An excellent day, enabling us to showcase our centre and make relevant connections to the benefit of KENT MSTC and the University. Well organised and beneficial and delighted to have been part of this, thank you, we’re so glad we came.’