FIFA has announced the establishment of a category that is relevant for football surfaces. In addition to FIFA approved football surfaces, FIFA Preferred Producers and FIFA approved testing institutes, FIFA has now also established the FIFA Research Institutes for Football Technology Innovation category.
Labosport, Sports Labs and Victoria University have all been announced as a FIFA Research Institutes for Football Technology.
The expertise of the FIFA Research Institutes will be harnessed in three key areas:
- An agreed amount of technical and human resources made available for the duration of the term, to be allocated to relevant research areas within the FIFA Football Technology & Innovation subdivision.
- Benefitting the wider sports research community by committing to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals.
- Providing empirical evidence to guide the discussions within the FIFA Quality Programme’s Technical Advisory Groups (TAG), which develops the testing standards and requirements for each product category.
The three institutes will each make a different contribution.
Labosport’s core contribution will be to accelerate numerous projects to better understand playing surfaces (both natural and synthetic), and to translate this knowledge into new test methods and standards.
With Sports Labs having established a strong reputation in understanding the interaction between the player and the surface, their diverse experience across the majority of the FIFA Quality Programmes puts them in a strong position to develop new test methods across the board.
Victoria University will continue collaborating with FIFA to generate further knowledge on how Electronic Performance Tracking Systems technologies can be assessed beyond measuring accuracy and how they can be best understood to help improve the game.
The application period for new FIFA Research Institutes will be open every two years with the next application period taking place from May – August 2024. This initiative offers an opportunity to maximise the research resources available to FIFA whilst contributing to real world challenges in collaboration with the industry and academia.
In order to become a FIFA Research Institute a series of eligibility criteria must be met.
- >5 years collaboration with the Football Technology & Innovation subdivision
- Allocation of set amount of research resources to agreed FIFA research projects
- Minimum of 5 scientific publications pre-application with dedicated resources to publication through their term as a FIFA Research Institute
- Demonstrable interdisciplinary research skills