Tech’s best and brightest focus on collaboration at FIFA Research Symposium

29 Oct 2021

Many of the brightest minds within sports technology and data research gathered for FIFA’s Research Symposium earlier this month to focus on closer collaboration between projects aimed at improving the beautiful game.

Over 200 attendees dialed in to listen and discuss some of the key technology projects FIFA has supported in the last year, with many also attending new Research Synergy Workshops aimed at bringing researchers and their research closer together.

The workshop session took place on the second day of the annual symposium and involved over 20 FIFA-related research groups to present their latest projects and to explore possible collaboration.

Technology: Seville test

The aim of the workshop was to streamline and optimise these projects to reach the stated aims of increasing the availability of football technologies, understanding football impacts with the surface and the player and how data analytics can lead to improvements at all levels of the football pyramid.

Attendees were also treated to a panel discussion hosted by Dr Sam Robertson, Professor of Sport Analytics at Victory University, Melbourne that featured insights from Vosse de Boode, the Head of Sport Science and Data Analytics at Ajax FC as well as Nicolas Evans, the Head of Research and Standards at FIFA.

The panel discussion focused on the differences between two distinct approaches to data driven research; elite clubs looking for insights that improve results and a governing body looking for technology that improves the overall game of football.

“The big areas in football that we talked about today were around collaboration, the importance of doing that across all stakeholders in the industry,” said Robertson, who works with organisations looking for insights into athletes’ performance.

“Also the democratisation of that in ensuring that there is a somewhat equal opportunity or at least equity in terms of access.”

De Boode, who works with data analytics at Ajax , stressed the need for good data structure in all research.

“So how can we think of a good data structure so that we can answer these questions straightaway and don’t spend 40 per cent of our time trying to look into the format of the data, figuring out the where the starting point is,” she said.

FIFA would like to thank all the panelists, presenters and researchers who continue to drive football forward through research and are looking forward to seeing you again next year.