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€9.5 million for SME Innovations Promoting Active and Healthy Lifestyles

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10/6/2023 10:28 AM

The increasingly sedentary lifestyle among the population is a significant contributor to less fitness & well-being and a variety of diseases such as a rise in mental stress, diabetes, heart diseases, Alzheimer's, and cancer cases. While technology has made our lives less active, it can now assist us in becoming more active and fit. To accelerate the introduction of the necessary technological innovations to the market, interregional collaboration is required. The European project I3-INSHAPE promotes such cooperation. Coordinated by Cluster Sports & Technology in (South) Netherlands, SMEs, knowledge institutions and cluster partners from regions from Belgium, Finland, Hungary, and Spain participate in the project.  These funds provide a boost to the economy in Kainuu and SMEs in the Sports & Vitality domain. 

Increasing the Impact of SMEs 
With an amount of €9.5 million (70 percent funded by EU-I3), SMEs have the opportunity to expedite the market entry of their innovations through interregional collaboration. Ultimately, this financial boost aims to establish an INSHAPE Innovation & Investment Hub, where companies, knowledge institutions, and government can come together for innovations promoting a healthier and more active lifestyle even after the project concludes. The project has a duration of three years and commences with a kick off on September 20, 2023.
Rene Wijlens, Project Coordinator of I3-INSHAPE on behalf of Cluster Sports & Technology: "With this project, we build upon the Clusters’ innovation strength, which we have developed in recent years. This will assist companies using smart technology to bring innovative products and services to the market, enticing people to lead a healthy and active life, both at work, in sports, and in public spaces. With INSHAPE, we bridge the regional strengths and ambitions of our and the other clusters and regions in the EU in the field of Sports & Vitality to form the sustainable EU-INSHAPE Innovation Hub, that will help SMEs in the EU to create successful business form innovations."
Participating partners from Kainuu include University of Jyväskylä, Vuokatti Sports Technology Unit (JYU-Vuokatti), Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) and one SME; CSE Entertainment which manufactures Exergaming products. 
In Kainuu region the I3 InShape partners see the upcoming three-year-project as a huge possibility for the region: ”The INSHAPE project fits nicely with the strategy of JYU-Vuokatti, KAMK and Kainuu region. It is interesting to get to be involved in a big EU-project with so many partners from withing Finland and many parts of Europe. This opens up new co-operation possibilities and opportunities to work together with different companies and institutes in the field of sports. In Kainuu region our and KAMK’s focus will be directed to CSE Entertainment to develop their products with the help of data. We are looking forward to starting the actual work” say professor Vesa Linnamo, Head of JYU-Vuokatti and Katri Takala, Principal Lecturer (KAMK) with great enthusiasm.
Other partners from Finland are Lapland Umniversity of Applied Sciences, LAB University of Applied Sciences (Lahti Campus), Lahden Seudun Kehitys Ladec Oy and Come Back Oy from Rovaniemi.
EPSI – the European Platform for Sport Innovation, will support the communication and dissemination of the project itself, helping it to gain visibility all over Europe. 
I3-INSHAPE is funded by the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF). With this subsidy, participating parties have the opportunity to assist over 40 SMEs in bringing innovations to the market through interregional collaboration, thereby promoting a more active and healthier society.

Contact for the project; 
Rene Wijlens, Cluster Sports & Technology,  wijlens@sportsandtechnology.com 
Marc van der Zande, Cluster Sports & Technology,  zande@sportsandtechnology.com