SportsTech: INNOLAB Bilbao and BCAM bring technology to the sports industry

  • Leading figures from the sports and digital sectors met today at the conference held in Bilbao on technology and sport
  • During the conference, the opportunities offered by new technologies to the sports industry were presented through the presentation of success stories from the Basque business system


On 22 March, the Ensanche Building hosted the conference “SportsTech: Sport and Technology, trends and opportunities” organised by INNOLAB Bilbao and BCAM (Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics).

Technology is gaining ground in the world of sport, facilitating numerous advances in a wide range of fields. At the SportsTech conference, which had a full capacity, some of the advances obtained in sport were shown, allowing “to relate the performance of athletes and the health of sportsmen and women or to understand data in order to attract fans and consumers more effectively”. This was emphasised by Dae-Jin Lee, Data Science Coordinator of BCAM’s Knowledge Transfer Unit (KTU) and keynote speaker of the conference: “Technology, data analytics and sport: a winning team”.

The welcome was given by Itxaso Erroteta, Councillor for Youth and Sport of Bilbao City Council, who stressed that “at Bilbao City Council we understand technology as an opportunity to improve the offer of all our services, including sports. A tool that is increasingly present in the public entities in charge of managing municipal sports policies and that is allowing us to advance and improve in many areas”.

One of the success stories of the day was also attended by Dae-Jin Lee, on this occasion together with Iraia Monteagudo, Director of INNOLAB Bilbao; and Isabel Iturbe and Rafael Pueyo, President and Sports Director of Bilbao Basket; where they presented the prototype of their own scouting tool developed by the three agents and based on Advanced Statistics: “The tool makes it possible to relate the different players on the basis of their professional performance over the years or to predict with a certain margin of error their success in the following season. In addition, it makes it possible to sort players by specific numerical and categorical variables and offers, among other aspects, up to 5 comparative graphs and a “Top 10″ of players similar to the selected one”.

Javier Amezaga, Researcher at the AZTI Technology Centre, pointed out in his presentation on the Athletic Club project and the technology applied to Precision Nutrition that: “technology makes it possible to tackle an innovative approach, providing support to medical services to guarantee the most precise and adequate nutrition for their sportsmen and women”.

On the other hand, Gari Fullaondo, founder and CEO of Kimet Sport, showed in his speech the role of technology in the methodological process in sport, confirming that “the use of Big Data technology in the planning of sports training developed for any level, competition and age, allows to quantify the performance of a team and enhance their talent”.

In his speech, Guillermo Chávarri, co-founder and CTO of RUNNEA, wanted to highlight the value of technology applied to personalised training, stating that “Artificial Intelligence allows us to interpret the scientific methods of professional coaches to apply them and individualise training sessions”.

Joseba Zubeldia, CPO of Futboltek, told us more about the measurement of individual technical improvement of players in a structured and systematic way through data analytics and how “technology can provide a more accelerated progression in the player’s performance than traditional training”.

The event was brought to a close by Jon Iriberri, Head of the Digital Transformation programme and manager of sports programmes for the Basque Government, who stressed that “sports agents must address the challenge of Digital Transformation in order to be able to respond to the future demand of players and consumers. Innovation, applied to materials and services, will differentiate the main sports players from other non-transformed ones that will be progressively reduced or disappear”.

The conference, organised by INNOLAB Bilbao and BCAM (Basque Centre for Applied Mathematics), was organised with the collaboration of the Bilbao City Council, Bilbao Basket Sports Club, AZTI Technology Centre, Kimet Sport, RUNNEA, Futboltek and the Basque Government.

About INNOLAB Bilbao

INNOLAB Bilbao ( is an open innovation platform where talent, technology and industry merge to launch new and industry merge to launch new digital solutions to business challenges. Born thanks to the impetus of the Bilbao City Council, it has added to its own capacity the resources of private companies, Iberdrola private companies, Iberdrola, Mondragon Corporation, BBK Foundation, IMQ Group, Deusto University of Deusto, BCAM (Basque Center for Applied Mathematics), El Correo, Inkolan and Tecnalia.