Microsoft’s Global Sports Innovation Center (GSIC) unveiled on Tuesday the “NEOM Sports Open Innovation Program” in collaboration with NEOM, aimed at transforming the sports sector through cutting-edge technologies, with a specific emphasis on artificial intelligence and adventure sports.
Iris Cordoba, general manager of GSIC, said the program offers a “golden opportunity” for startups and existing companies to shape the future of sports, harmonizing technology, nature, and sustainability.
She added that “we will work on creating an exceptional network that contributes to enhancing innovation and unleashing the human innovation potentials in sports,” noting that the center will collaborate with five leading global companies in sports tech to accelerate the program.
Jan Paterson, managing director of NEOM Sport, stated that this collaborative effort aligns perfectly with NEOM’s long-term vision to become a global hub for sports innovation, as well as promoting healthy lifestyles and ensuring an exceptional living environment for its residents and visitors.
“We are delighted with this program as it supports our vision to use technology to achieve growth and development in all aspects of the sports sector in NEOM, starting from creating different styles of healthy and active life, all the way to promoting a high-performance culture, holding quality events, enhancing infrastructure and activating partnerships, in order to achieve our goals in consolidating NEOM’s position as a regional center for sports and innovation,” she said.
Paterson also called on startups and other companies to join this program, to contribute to the development of adventure sports and artificial intelligence, and creating a constant influence in the sports sector.
NEOM will provide participants with a unique environment for developing innovative solutions, improving performances, and opening new horizons in the field. The program also serves rich experiences including expert-led sessions and interactive activities aimed at enhancing the potential of the firms involved.
Additionally, winners will receive a free membership in the GSIC, a cash prize of up to €50,000 to implement their ideas within NEOM, and the chance to benefit from the commercial opportunities in NEOM.
Winners will also be invited to spend a week at NEOM’s headquarters to explore the different business fields in sports and acquire valuable knowledge by taking a closer look on the work environment, as well as inviting them to take part in an exclusive event that NEOM will organize in collaboration with GSIC in 2024.
Applications for this program started on September 12 and will continue until October 12, and winners will be announced on November 23.