Movement for everybody: more, better and smarterMovement for everybody: more, better and smarter


Prof.dr. Koen Lemmink
Olympisch Stadion 14, 1076 DE Amsterdam
University Groningen, Groningen UMC, Technical University Delft, Technical University Eindhoven, Amsterdam VUMC, Wageningen University, University Utrecht, University Leiden, UMC Utrecht, Fontys, HAN, Hanze, Haagse Hogeschool, Hogeschool van Amsterdam, InHolland, Windesheim

The goal of the (envisioned) infrastructure is to create a facility for research and innovation in the field of exercise, sports and health. This field of study has committed itself to a national research agenda aimed at promoting human movement and mobility at all health and performance levels (ranging from patients to elite athletes) to improve health and performance and to reduce the risk of injury. To this end, a national infrastructure for research and innovation is currently being formed consisting of an on-line platform for storing, analyzing and sharing data (called Sport Data Valley or SDV), SDV labs, Field labs and Science Centers. This infrastructure needs to be strengthened, expanded and secured for the future in order to advance research and innovation in this domain and to realize the scientific and societal aims of the national research agenda. The field is up for making such a scale jump for the benefit of science, sports, public health and related business creation.

The infrastructure consists of three interconnected layers, 1. a nationwide IT infrastructure: SDV (, 2. SDV labs and 3. Sportinnovator centers ( and (associated) Science Centers.

1. SDV, an initiative of the Topteam Sport ( funded by ZonMW in 2018, is the national on-line platform for the analysis and study of data on human movement, physical activity and sports in relation to health and performance. SDV allows researchers to manage, analyze, unlock and share their data. By connecting different kinds of automatically anonymized data and secure sharing, as well as by offering high-end AI and data science, it bridges the gap between science and practice. SDV is supported by a consortium of universities and NOC*NSF; a prototype is running and currently being tested.

2. SDV labs are physical locations where data of various origin are assembled, visualized, analyzed and funneled to the SDV, and where data scientists, sports scientists and end users combine forces to tackle scientifically and practically relevant questions. These data are collected at various physical test locations, including dedicated sports field labs, sensor labs, movement labs at (research and applied) universities and academic hospitals, instrumented physical education environments, rehabilitation and fitness centers. Furthermore, movement data are derived directly form unbounded individuals. Data stewards are in place to secure the quality and comparability of the data.

3. Sportinnovator centers, conceived and seed-funded by the Ministry of VWS, are physical locations where researchers, sports organizations, entrepreneurs and public professionals collaborate on evidence-based innovations that contribute to an active lifestyle, sports participation and performance improvement, creating economic and/or societal value. Each center has its own expertise and infrastructure for research and innovation. A distinction can be made between sports Field labs (e.g., for gymnastics, sailing, skating, swimming and recreational sports) with dedicated equipment to measure movement in vivo (e.g., wearable sensors and other portable devices, high-speed video, instrumented implements, floors and fields) and Science Centers with high-end equipment for measuring human movement and its biomechanical, physiological, neural and psychological underpinnings. Both the Fields labs and the Science Centers are closely linked to the SDV labs and the SDV is fueled by data collected at those sites, as are some associated Science Centers that cater to but are no Sportinnovator centers.

The infrastructure supports various research types, ranging from experimental studies in movement science labs aimed at theory and model construction and testing to applied studies in field labs aimed at testing prototypes and subsequent implementation, and from theory-driven to data-driven studies. Recently, the possibilities for monitoring movement in everyday settings like home, work, school, public spaces and care centers have increased tremendously, which not only allows for studying movement-related processes and interventions in large populations but also at an individual level, permitting individual tailoring of interventions aimed at improving movement in view of health and performance goals. To this end, movement and exercise data need to be combined with other relevant (e.g., biological, mental, social and health) data related to the individual user (or ""mover""). This will be achieved by enriching existing longitudinal cohort studies with movement data such that new patterns of interrelations and dependencies will be discerned and potentially effective interventions for improving (or optimizing) movement of individuals in relation to health and performance goals will be identified. Also the (short- and long-term) effectiveness, reliability and sustainability of existing interventions cwill be studied in this manner.

Aansluiting bij strategische ontwikkelingen
Life Sciences & Health
Sport en Bewegen