Being a partner of Inno4Sports provides IVACE (the regional development agency of the Region of Valencia, Spain) with inputs and insights to steer the first priority of its regional operational programme: the development of the knowledge based economy, R&D&I and the information society, which IVACE aims to achieve through cross-sectorial cooperation, inter alia, and within concrete fields of concern and action, such as sport.

From its overall committment an competence to foster innovation in manufacturing and service-to-industry companies, IVACE regards sport as key in contributing to the sustainable development of overarching economic priorities of the Valencian Region with a view to a much needed creation of jobs. This is particularly so with the advent and exponential progress of digitalisation in all manufacturing and sport-related activities and services which efficient performance relies more and more on the accomplishment of a European single market which is coherent with unquestionable societal requirements such as health and life quality under a circular economy approach.

Inno4Sports entitles IVACE to constant observation of the state of the art regarding sport and subsequent emulation of good practice which are imperative for any solvent and competitive private or administrative body. Good practice exchange, insight gaining on specific topics and taking of stock of progress made , reveal and explicit where action is needed.

Overall, the Interreg Europe Programme to which Inno4Sports belongs, provides under EU coordination, a most appropriate framework to benchmark proven policies and address transnational challenges with world class consortia, such as Inno4Sports which boasts excellent geographical and expertise balance. The accomplishment of such challenges is in the interest of IVACE when it comes to delivering the Research and Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3) for the Region of Valencia, the Secretariat of which is within IVACE.

Shortly after Inno4Sports commenced, a Sports Lab was established by the Valencian RIS3, the intention being to prioritise innovation in sport, not only per se, but as a cross cutting, common denominator for a number of public policies. The members of this lab pertain to the quadruple helix and they ensure constant, pragmatic and agreed advice to the region and, more precisely to IVACE when designing its annual grant schemes and calls to which SME’s apply for funding.

Hence, a direct connection operates between the Inno4Sports local Steering Committee, the Stakeholder Group and the RIS3 Sports Lab, through which multi-directional reporting is ensured.