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Forum to focus on making Central Indiana hub for sports, physical activity innovation

INDIANAPOLIS – The American College of Sports Medicine and the IU School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at IUPUI are starting a public conversation about making Central Indiana a hub when it comes to applying innovation to sports and physical activity.

The organizations are hosting a Sports Innovation Forum on Tuesday, May 28. The forum, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at the NCAA in Indianapolis. Speakers include:

* David Johnson, president and CEO, BioCrossroads

* Troy Hege, project director, BioCrossroads

* Amber Ross and Matt Kirby, Develop Indy

* Jim Whitehead, executive vice president and CEO, American College of Sports Medicine

* Don Kuratko, executive director, Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

* Dr. Brian Hainline, chief medical officer, NCAA

* Scott Hallenbeck, executive director, USA Football

These experts in the field of exercise and sports science will discuss trends and innovation, the direction of sport and physical activity, and how the local community is leading the field.

The time is ripe to focus on sports and physical activity innovation, officials with the two groups said. Benefits include generating commercial opportunities leading to new business development and advancing ways to engage the public in physical activity. Given the area’s history with sports, strength in life-health sciences and academic assets, the officials see Central Indiana as the logical choice for such a focus.

“The forum is essentially a first step in what we envision as a broader effort around sports and exercise innovation,” said Jay Gladden, dean of the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management.  “We plan to further develop our partnership and create a more formal initiative around this concept in the fall.”

The two organizations have been discussing applying innovation to sports and physical activity for more than a year.

“The forum will focus on the concept of innovation, innovation in Indianapolis and Central Indiana, and what are some great examples of innovation  that are already underway,” Whitehead said. “We are looking at the intersection between innovation and sports, physical activity, health and the business sector.” 

“We are considering ways that Central Indiana could become a hub or point of significant activity around innovation and sports and exercise, with a focus on improved health outcomes,” Gladden said. “With obesity statistics where they are for adults and children and with new health care legislation coming into play, the time is right to begin this conversation, given the many opportunities that will exist for products and programs.”