Technologies to support the prevention and treatment of football players' injuries

A world-famous football club in Spain's Basque Country is looking for a partner who can provide preventive and therapeutic technologies for football players' injuries. 

The requested technology should be based on a customised and customisable parameterisation of the modifiable injury risk factors and the cooperation envisaged for this open innovation call is that of a commercial agreement with technical assistance.

The management of sports injuries and their impact on the availability of the staff is the main area of work of the medical service of a professional football club. 

From this viewpoint, the main objective of the club is to obtain the maximum sports performance of its leading teams; male and female, and the integral and personalised training of players to obtain their best professional performance, that is to say, achieve the maximum availability of these athletes.

Challenge description 

Two aspects are of great importance; minimising injury risks as much as possible and optimising or managing efficiently (safely) the recovery period from injuries. Any of these two require a thorough understanding and a comprehensive approach of the different risk factors for each type of injury, to be able to propose specific and customisable surgeries both from the preventive point of view and from the therapeutic one.

There are several types of factors that influence the risk of injury:

  • Those linked to the individual’s own epidemiological injury; recurrence or having suffered other kinds of injuries such as the hamstring muscle tear
  • Those linked to the number of training sessions and matches
  • Biological factors for which it is necessary to define analytical, anthropometric parameters as well as the metabolic profile and the genomics of every individual
  • Biomechanical-physical factors such as strength, endurance, speed, the capacity of neuromuscular activation, kinetic and kinematic characteristics of the movement
  • Psychosocial factors such as stress management, wellbeing (mood, sleep, general discomfort…)
  • Others such as sports equipment, life habits, training surfaces, environmental exposures…

Concerning the state of development, either prototypes or granted patents will be accepted.

Challenge requirements

The partner must provide a technology that allows the medical team to visualise the status of each player in relation to the different injury risk factors as a routine prior to the start of every working session. 

The partners sought are SMEs, startups, entrepreneurs, technology centres or universities that can provide the requested technologies in a partial or total resolution of the described challenge.

The possible areas of knowledge involved: sports medicine and physiotherapy, biology, big data, IOT, bioengineering, machine, learning, neural network, multivariate analysis, AI.

The provider of the requested technology will also have to give technical advice to the recipient for the correct adaptation of the technology as the latter has to be either customised and customisable.

Both prototypes and granted patents will be accepted and the solution to the challenge can either be partial or total.

The idea is to establish preventive strategies in order to modify the relevant risk factors. 

The technology must provide solutions to these questions: 

1. What are the explanatory and modelable variables of the incidence of injuries in our staff?
2. What system or measurement and control systems would be necessary to incorporate into the factor follow-up routine currently developed by the club’s medical team?
3. How do the different risk factors related to the most prevalent injuries interact, in general and at a personalised level?

Further information

In this open innovation challenge, expenses for the development of the project will be covered (15.000€).

The period of development is of an average of six months.

There will be an extra grant of another 15.000 euros for the winning company/organisation for development expenses, although it implies setting up a company in the region of Biscay with at least one worker. A period of two months will be given for this purpose.

Submission of applications will start on 9 March and the deadline is 13 April.

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