FSPA partners with Loughborough University in £6m EPSRC bid

The Federation of Sports and Play Associations has partnered with Loughborough University in a £6million EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Sporting Goods bid.

Jane Montgomery, FSPA managing director, is thrilled the national UK trade body has been asked to support Loughborough University in its bid to create a Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Sporting Goods.

She says: “We have worked alongside Loughborough University as one of the UK’s leading sports universities for a number of years and are keen to be able to support them in their bid for such a worthwhile venture, which is sure to be of huge benefit to UK sporting goods manufacturers.”

The Sports Technology Research Group at Loughborough University, the largest academic-based sporting goods research group in the world, includes a 50-strong team of academics, researchers and technicians. The group is based within a bespoke, state-of-the-art £15million institute comprising research laboratories, offices and meeting rooms. It has submitted an outline proposal to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for around £6million over a five-year period.

The EPSRC is seeking to create around 10 centres to act as hubs for innovative manufacturing research, each with a distinct focus and target sector(s). One notable feature of this particular initiative is the emphasis being placed upon industry need. It is essential that the university research is directed by industry collaborators (in this case, the UK sports industry), hence the reason why the Loughborough University partnership with the FSPA and its sports industry member companies is so important.

Speaking about the bid, professor Mike Caine, director of the Sports Technology Institute, said: “We are pleased that our long-standing relationship with the Federation provides us with such a good platform to engage with the UK’s sporting goods sector. We already work closely with numerous UK sports companies, from global brands to niche SMEs. However, we are always open to new approaches.

“This venture is still at proposal stage, but we hope this partnership with the Federation will reinforce our proposed bid in the eyes of the EPSRC panel.”

If you are a UK sporting goods manufacturer keen to find out more, regardless of whether you manufacture in the UK or offshore, contact professor Mike Caine at or on 01509 564800/564819.

Picture credit: Andrew Weekes Photography.

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