ProFit: network of FieldLabs

The EU-project ProFit aims to stimulate innovation and new business creation in the sportssector by developing a network of FieldLabs focused on sport. ProFit is funded by the European Union, under the Interreg IVB North West Europe programme.

Breeding place for sports innovation and business creation

A  FieldLab for sports innovation is a research and development location in a real-life setting where citizens engage in sports and play activities. Businesses can install new product prototypes or production models in the FieldLab where the end-users can use and test them as part of regular sports activity. FieldLabs initiate and stimulate cooperation between sports, business as well as knowledge, health and government institutes. They work together on development, validation, realization and introduction of new products, services, interventions and facilities. A FieldLab is an instrument for innovation and a breeding place that facilitates business creation. At the same time, cities create attractive spaces that contribute to health and well-being, their citizens will have new playgrounds to meet and have fun.   Public private partnership The FieldLab concept originates from Eindhoven (Netherlands). In 2008 the first facility of this kind was realized on municipality sports grounds in a cooperative structure between public and private parties.

Sports, business as well as knowledge, health and government institutes together can create golden triangles.

“The FieldLab is a showcase for interactive sports and playing, and an excellent testing surrounding for the development of our new products.”

Jeroen Frissen, director i3Sports, Eindhoven (Netherlands)  

“ProFit is the beginning of an exciting journey that I hope will bring about a new paradigm for sport and exercise innovation.”

Steve Haake, director Centre for Sports Engineering Research, Sheffield Hallam University.

Four cities, five universities

The ProFit project will develop FieldLabs in four European cities: Eindhoven (Netherlands), Delft (Netherlands), Kortrijk (Belgium) and Sheffield (UK). A supportive research programme provides scientific rigour to the development and operation of the FieldLabs and products. Participating universities are Sheffield Hallam University, University of Ulster, Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Howest (University College West Flanders).

Research

The research support programme within ProFit will investigate the needs of potential users in each FieldLab as a basis for creating inviting environments. Furthermore, it will develop co-design tools for supporting multi stakeholder communication in open innovation processes (led by TU Eindhoven). It also will provide businesses with scientific and relevant feedback on the effects of their prototypes and/or products to facilitate accelerated product development. The results showing the economic benefits for business creation as well as benefits for health and well-being – will convince cities, regions and businesses to invest in FieldLabs. The lead role for this research is carried out by Sheffield Hallam University. SHU is one of the biggest providers of sport, health, social care and teacher training in the UK. The Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER), part of the Faculty of Health & Wellbeing, is internationally renowned. It focuses on developing fundamental understanding of the complex sporting environment and the creation of innovative technology applications. The research within the ProFit framwork involves establishing methods and mechanisms to enable the measurement of FieldLab performance data (product, people, societal, environmental). The essential element in this will be the design and installation of measurement systems. Initial foundations for each FieldLab have been established through a user needs analysis in all city locations (led by TU Delft).  

Monitoring

One of the main benefits of a FieldLab for its stakeholders is the provision of quantitative and qualitative data on user experiences with innovation relating to sport ,exercise and play in a public space. This data is generated by the use of fixed and mobile monitoring systems that capture information on the users’ movement within the space, and interaction with the objects and equipment (products) within it.   In order to facilitate this unique system for monitoring, data collection and analysis the FieldLabs in the participating cities have been equipped with ducting, cabling, small wireless sensors and special high-definition pan-tilt-zoom cameras that can track user movement while they are undertaking activity. Within the project also special software is being developed. For qualitative data collection (user feedback), outdoor touch screen kiosks will be installed. This forms part of another innovation in the FieldLab to use digital media to provide useful information to the users about the FieldLab, and also enable the users to leave audio or video feedback in an open format, or in response to specific questions.  

Delft

In the city of Delft the new FieldLab was officially opened in October 2012. The FieldLab has been installed as part of the existing green playground ‘Bomenwijk’, situated within a residential area, next to an elderly home and surrounded by several schools and a neighbourhood with quite a number of young families. Step by step the FieldLab will be expanded as a way to update and upgrade the existing playground. The first innovative equipment has been placed.

Delft Projects

Eindhoven

The FieldLab site in Eindhoven (Netherlands), which was formerly a football field, consists of one grass pitch, four different artificial grass pitches and a range of playground equipment, both interactive and adapted for special target groups like elderly. The testing site is surrounded by a two lane athletics track and an asphalt track. Activities like school sports, children’s parties and corporate outings take place on these multifunctional sports grounds.

Eindhoven Projects

Sheffield

FieldLab Sheffield is situated in Lowfield Open Space, a 2-hectare site which previously was a low-quality under-utilised green space, but has just undergone a major transformation. The refurbished park will provide innovative outdoor exercise opportunities. Lowfield is situated in the Sharrow area, known for its high proportion of young people, culturally diverse population and high concentration of disadvantaged families. The new Lowfield Park is fully open, together with the Lowfield U-Mix Centre. The FieldLab includes an artificial grass pitch (AGP) for football, adventurous play equipment, a community garden and an open grassed area with seating. Also lots of improvements to the adjoining Lowfield Primary School have been made such as a dance studio, a multi gym, an activity hall and a performing arts space. Partners: Bart Wolfs, Spinnov, FieldLab Sheffield, ProFit

Sheffield Projects

Kortrijk

FieldLab Kortrijk is situated at the redeveloped borders of the Leie river and includes several, dispersed locations. Activating the borders is the main goal of the FieldLab in Kortrijk and different target groups will be addressed. Students, aged 16-25, are a first target group. Kortrijk is hoping to offer these youngsters a changing environment with various sports and possibilities. In a first phase, the square in front of the new faculty building Digital Arts and Entertainment of Howest University will be redeveloped. Another location in this first phase is a basketball cage at the river quay. As a result of the ProFit Innovation competition 2012 a concept with LED-lights will be installed to provide this cage with interactive features in order to motivate students and others to be active in and around this location. Future developments are planned in relation to spaces under the seven bridges along the river in the inner city and the other side of the city center. Near the biggest college of Kortrijk and Buda Beach, children and younger students, aged 10-18, are the main target group. Several possibilities will be considered in order to create an active environment for inhabitants and the occasional passerby.

Kortrijk Projects

How to setup a FieldLab

Besides creating an EU-network of FieldLabs and supporting this with research the ProFit project is aiming at dissemination of the concept and the outcome. The information is being spread through a website, an iPad-presentation, brochures and a mobile unit for showing concrete examples.

Manual

There is no single blueprint for a FieldLab. Existing examples in Eindhoven, Delft, Kortrijk and Sheffield show a variety of possibilities and options. None of them started from scratch, in most cases it was a matter of transformation or growing step by step. Expertise and advice for the process of setting up a FieldLab is available by means of a manual or through direct contact with the ProFit project organisation.  

Student participation

Student participation is an excellent tool to set up projects within the framework of a FieldLab. Students have a fresh look towards sports, games and exercise and can come up with whole new ideas. On the other hand a FieldLab project gives students a chance to work on a real life case.  

Competitions and challenges

Competitions and challenges – both for students and for businesses – are commonly used these days to draw attention, to mobilise energy, to create ideas and to get people engaging in physical activity. Competitions and challenges and also awards and prizes can be used to put the spotlight on sports innovations and gather best practices. To win such a prize can be a next step for a project. For example in The Netherlands the National Sports Innovation Prize (NSIP) has been handed out annually since 2008.

Expert meeting

Besides a congress, seminar or workshop an expert meeting on a specific theme, with participants from sports, business and knowledge, health and government institutions can be helpful in creating projects within an innovation agenda for a FieldLab.

Toolkit

Pdf downloads, soon be available

Innovation Competition

To inspire and source exciting new products to test in the FieldLabs, Profit launched an innovation competition in 2012. Promising SME’s and start-up companies were invited to develop innovative sports products or services, to be used in one of the four participating FieldLabs. Each FieldLab formulated a specific design challenge with regard to the local target groups, their needs and wishes, and the specific setting.

Four winners

Extra energy, positive image and higher professional standard

‘Winning the ProFit award means a lot to us. On the day it was to be announced, everybody in our company was waiting for the outcome. When project leader Thomas Hartong called me and told me the positive news, I felt proud. Within Yalp it caused a flood of text messages to congratulate him. This gives a lot of extra energy to keep going with the development, which is sometimes quite a laborious process with a lot of challenges. Winning such an innovation award also contributes to a positive image in the market, although for the concept itself this is somewhat limited because we are still in the development phase. The support to do the prototyping and testing with partners within the FieldLab is very important to us, because it is precisely this phase which is so crucial. With this support we can move to an even higher professional standard. This will definitely increase the final quality of our concept.’ Ben Admiraal, director of Yalp, producer and supplier of playgrounds and sports products.  

Good innovation climate and good partners to cooperate with

‘Usually I support and advise companies with strategy and concepts, but I also elaborate concepts myself. The idea of YOU.FO started at home with a rubber ring and a broomstick. With the assistance of industrial designers and even a professor in aerodynamics the concept gained more body. Students of HAN University of Applied Sciences tested the effects and the experiences within the target groups and gave insight into the market opportunities. With the money that came with the award we can do some extensive testing at the FieldLab in Eindhoven, in an environment with a good innovation climate and good partners to cooperate with. They have the knowledge and experience to help us to introduce such a product to our target groups, and they have the network to provide us with a lot of test persons. Also a student of Eindhoven University of Technology is exploring future options for interaction and the use of sensors and GPS.’ Bas Ruyssenaars, owner of the startup YOU.FO

Developing and testing new prototypes

In the FieldLab in Eindhoven several new products and services have been developed and tested and some start-up projects and companies have been supported. A recent example is the Curb, a combination of riding a bicycle and a fitness cross training that gives kids a whole new experience with possibilities for fun and exercise.   Another example is AAA-Lux (LEDexpert), a small company that has developed a dynamic system of LED floodlights for sports fields. Prototyping and testing of energy use and user friendliness in practice took place at FieldLab Eindhoven.

Serious Gaming

Through the ProFit Innovation Competition 2012 for FieldLab Delft businesses and students were challenged to develop all season concepts to be used by both children (age 8-12) and elderly. The winning concept was Serious Gaming by the company Yalp. It did not only win the award in Delft, but also the overall ProFit Innovation Competition 2012 award for all four FieldLabs (Eindhoven, Delft, Kortrijk, Sheffield). Serous Gaming can be described as a set of interactive poles, which offer a variety of games, including active movement and brain training. All seven poles consist of a display and LED-lighting and are able to communicate text, images and animations. The poles are positioned in a public space. Players move between the poles. Movement sensors enable the poles to react to the players. At this moment at FieldLab Delft.a first version of Serious Gaming is being installed as a prototype to be tested. Partners: Yalp, Delft University of Technology, FieldLab Delft, ProFit

OptiTrainer Running

OptiTrainer Running is an electronic pacing system with LED’s along a track. It was developed successfully for swimming and in response to requests a version for running is now being tested. Runners can install pacing schemes including constant speed, constant acceleration, sprint, or a predefined trajectory (e.g. a personal or world record). Customized training schemes can be installed. Also multiple simultaneous use is possible. Partners: Metatronics, i3Sports, Eindhoven University of Technology

4D sports grounds

With support from the ProFit project the first 4D sports ground in the world will soon be realised and tested in FieldLab Eindhoven. It consists of horizontal panels that rotate to create various surfaces; a soccer field with artificial turf, a multi functional plastic floor, and a surface with solar panels or billboards. This technology creates 24/7 usage of sports grounds and can help sport clubs to generate additional income. Partners: Sublean Group, InnoSportNL, Greenfields, Descol, Delft University of Technology, vv Sliedrecht, ProFit

YOU.FO

YOU.FO, an idea by Bas Ruyssenaars is an innovative throw and catch sports game. In designing this game Ruyssenaars was inspired by frisbee, jai lai and martial arts. Playing YOU.FO challenges to grow skills like concentration, hand-eye coordination, strength and flexibility. YOU.FO was winner of the ProFit Innovation Competition 2012 for the FieldLab Eindhoven. Partners: YOU.FO, HAN University of Applied Sciences, InnoSportNL, ProFit

Cone2020

The idea Cone2020 has won the ProFit Innovation competition 2012 at the FieldLab Sheffield. Cone2020 is an interactive play device, and can be seen as a high-tech version of the traditional plastic practice cone used in a wide array of sports and play activities.Cone2020 can be used in football training for individual or team use as a playful element to the practice of essential ball handling skills and other training exercises. Cone2020 can also be categorized as an ‘exergame’, a game play that is considered a physical exercise. As a result of winning the award the developers of Cone2020 have been able to produce a next step prototype that can be used for testing at the FieldLab. Partners: Bart Wolfs, Spinnov, FieldLab Sheffield, ProFit

Play Ball

‘Design a sport stimulating product for students (18-25 years old) to be installed at the borders of the Leie river.’ This was the challenge for students and businesses for the ProFit Innovation competition 2012 at FieldLab Kortrijk. The award winning concept was the concept Play Ball – Motivational Reactive Environment by Magic Monkey. It will be integrated in an existing basketball cage. Light effects will appear when physical activity in or around the cage is being measured. Magic Monkey will continue to work on the concept development, in close cooperation with students from Howest University’s department of industrial design. The aim is to deliver an open-source hardware upon which Digital Arts & Entertainment and Digital Design & Media students can continuously program new graphics and games. Partners Magic Monkey, Howest University, FieldLab Kortrijk, ProFit

From Passive to Active

Create an idea for outdoor furniture, which supports interaction between elderly and children. This was the theme of a one week intensive workshop, set up by ProFit, in cooperation with the municipality of Delft and Delft University of Technology. The entry From Passive to Active by Omar Ebadi, a young graduate student, was selected as the winning design, and has been realized and placed in the FieldLab. It is a simple furniture line, mainly constructed out of scaffold wood. The design directs the gathering of people towards an object, from a passive presence to an active participation. Partners: Delft University of Technology, FieldLab Delft, ProFit

FieldLab: an opportunity for international cooperation in sports innovation

We invite you to Get Involved

    Partners in ProFit invite governments (local, regional and national), businesses, universities and research institutes, NGO’s and other parties involved in promotion of sports and excercise, product innovation and business creation to get involved in the ProFit project. Please contact us at www.fieldlabs.eu for more info.

Partners

The ProFit project is a cooperation between local public authorities and knowledge institutions. Lead partner is the Sports and Technology Foundation. Other partners are the cities of Eindhoven (NL), Delft (NL), Kortrijk (BE) and Sheffield (UK). Participating universities are Sheffield Hallam University, University of Ulster, Eindhoven University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Howest (University College West Flanders).

Sports and Technology

Building bridges and creating golden triangles! Sports and Technology is a non profit organisation, founded in 2005 in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) in close co-operation with the Dutch research organisation TNO. Golden triangles As an intermediate organisation, Sports and Technology builds bridges between the worlds of sports, knowledge and business, with the aim to create ‘golden triangles’. Not only for better results in (top)sports and to stimulate people to play, to exercise or to play sports, but also to generate business. Sports and Technology also was one of the the founding fathers of the annual Dutch national congress ‘Sports, Science and Technology’ and the National Sports Innovation Award.   FieldLabs A true innovation in itself was the idea of creating FieldLabs: research and development locations in a real-life sports setting where new ideas, concepts, technologies and products can be tested. The Dutch national organisation InnoSportNL – set up in 2006 by TNO and the national sports federation NOC*NSF – has adapted this concept and by now has installed such FieldLabs for swimming, speed skating, sailing and gymnastics.   Especially for recreational sports such a FieldLab has been established in Eindhoven in 2009. This initiative has recieved a lot of international attention, which has triggered Sports and Technology to set up the EU-project ProFit.

University of Ulster

Researchers from the Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute, the Sensors and Connected Health Research Group and the Smart Environments Research Group are contributing to the ProFit project.   Methods The Physical Activity and Health group uses epidemiological and empirical methods to investigate the role of physical activity and exercise in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease and the promotion of psychological well-being.   The Connected Health activity studies the future models for healthcare delivery that will use technology to provide and improve healthcare remotely. This research aims to maximise healthcare resources and provide increased, flexible opportunities for consumers to engage with clinicians and better self-manage their care.   In Smart Environments the focus to develop lab-based real-world intelligent physical spaces for high-level data/information/knowledge processing, e.g., data fusion, context and activity recognition, decision-making support for situated individuals, in order to support rich user experiences in smart environments.

Delft university of technology

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) is one of the oldest and largest in the world. The faculty is leading in the field of design research, with more than 100 researchers. Central to the work are the user’s needs and wishes, how to determine what they are, and how to use this knowledge in designing products that cater better to these needs and wishes.   Collaboration: University and city council TU Delft is collaborating with the City Council of Delft on the implementation of the council’s policy for stimulation of physical activity, play and sports for Delft citizens. Part of their ambition in this is to renew their facilities for (outdoor) play and sports by means of the development and implementation of innovative, interactive play, sports and fitness facilities for the specific needs of the people of Delft. The aim is to stimulate the youth and adults to engage in physical activity, thereby living a healthier life.   Research and development In the ProFit project TU Delft Faculty IDE is researching and developing new tools and methodologies to involve users in identifying their specific needs and desires and conceptualising new solutions, ranging from techniques simply for gathering user information and preferences to techniques whereby users are actually involved in the design process. For more sports related research at Delft University of Technology, take a look at: www.sportsengineering.tudelft.nl

Sheffield Hallam university

Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) is one of the largest UK Universities with over 30,000 students, and is one of the biggest providers of sport, health, social care and teacher training in the UK.   The university SHU is organised into four large Faculties:  Health & Wellbeing Arts, Computing , Engineering and Sciences Development and Society Sheffield Business School   The Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) sits in the Faculty of Health & Wellbeing. CSER is internationally renowned with over 160 years of cumulative experience. It focuses on developing fundamental understanding of the complex sporting environment and the creation of innovative technology applications. The centre is led by Professor Steve Haake, the founding chair of the International Sports Engineering Association, and founding editor of the journal Sports Engineering.   CSER undertakes research and consultancy for a diverse range of sports companies and organisations including: the International Tennis Federation, Adidas, Prince, Ping, and UK Sport. Since 2008 CSER has been working as a UK Sport Innovation Partner, a role that sees it providing technical R&D support across many elite sports, including swimming, diving, boxing and gymnastics. CSER also delivers large and complex collaborative projects with agencies such as ERDF and ESF. Public engagement is embedded into the culture of the centre and numerous high profile projects have been delivered with organisations like the British Council, the Royal Academy of Engineering and The Institution of Engineering and Technology.   SHU and ProFit SHU has the lead role for Work Package 3 – Research. This involves establishing methods and mechanisms to enable the measurement of FieldLab performance data (product, people, societal, environmental). The essential element in this will be the design and installation of measurement systems. Initial foundations for each FieldLab have been established through a user needs analysis in all city locations (led by TU Delft). We are also establishing baseline data sets on FieldLab start-up. As data is collected SHU will co-ordinate the analysis and assessment of economic impact of innovation activity, and look also at secondary impact on health and social cohesion. Dissemination of results and findings through seminars, conferences, papers, and articles will conclude this activity. SHU also provides support to the innovation competition, and will drive the creation of stakeholder and user networks in the Sheffield region.

TU Eindhoven

In 2001, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) started the department of Industrial Design (ID).   Industrial Design department Based on discussions with industry, the department decided in 2001 to concentrate on the design of intelligent systems, products, and related services, which addresses aspects such as adaptive behavior, context-awareness, and highly dynamic interaction. Students learn to integrate various areas into the design process, with emphasis on designs using new technology for people in the socio-cultural and business contexts. At ID we see systems as adaptive environments in which humans can interact with intelligent products to gain access to services provided. These products are connected to each other and the surrounding system to achieve a new type of user experience. This implies a new type of designer.   At our department research and education are integrated into one approach; a unique educational system, with a focus on practice-oriented teaching and learning, in close collaboration with companies and institutions. We follow a design research approach in which we create innovative solutions with different stakeholders, such as technological, domain and user experts.   TU/E and ProFit The main role of TU Eindhoven Industrial Design Department in the ProFit Project is to assist with creating the value chains and initial concepts for innovation initiation and exploring the kind of partners that might be needed. The iterative process of creating initial concepts, and discussing these with prospective partners, will contribute to different design directions with different sets of stakeholders (e.g. technological, material, sport domain-knowledge, knowledge institutes, municipalities, etc). For this purpose new tools and methodologies are developed to support multi-stakeholder collaboration and innovation initiation processes. TU/e also collects and disseminates innovative examples of sports motivation in a collection, the ProFit Catalogue of Innovative Sports and Play Products.

Howest university college

In 1995 Howest, University College West Flanders, became an autonomous Higher Education Institution because of a merger of six prominent institutions of higher education in Flanders.   Education Since then the development within Howest has taken on a fresh impetus. Today about 5600 full-time students are enrolled at Howest, pursuing 27 Bachelors and 7 Masters covering a wide range of unique positioned disciplines, such as technical design engineering, industrial product design, digital arts & gaming, new media applications, sports education leisure and wellness and applied architecture. Howest aims to be a learning community which promotes innovation, creativity and initiative. The core values are to serve, empower and care. Howest therefore is a fertile environment for research and innovation.   FieldLabs In the ProFit project, Howest does research for innovation in sports participation. Howest has the expertise to use industrial and technological innovation to promote physical activity. Its strength is in coaching students and empower them to be creative and innovative. Howest aims to continuously use ProFit FieldLabs by combining research experience, knowledge in technology and industrial design and empowering students to stimulate sportsinnovation. Howest will do measurements what effects the innovations have on physical activity.

City of Kortrijk

A city with 75,000 inhabitants in the southern part of the province of West Flanders that achieved fame and glory thanks to the flax and linen industry.   The city and its past An unbelievable dynamic rules here and this is clearly visible in the special urban renewal projects. The Middle Ages are still visible in the city centre, as testified for instance by the sturdy Broel towers on the banks of the Leie, also known as the Golden River. The sober Beguinage is an oasis of peace and is also, in addition to the Belfort, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The late-Gothic city hall, the Baggaertshof, the impressive Church of Our Lady and St. Martin’s Church are the loveliest treasures of Kortrijk’s art-historical heritage.   Renowned architects and town planners have redesigned the city with due respect for its past. Whether it concerns renovated or new squares and streets, the preference in Kortrijk is given to sober, contemporary architecture with an eye for detail. Along the edge of the city, in High Kortrijk, traditional and contemporary architecture are stylishly united on the Kulak University campus and the many sport centres.

City of Eindhoven

On the sports grounds at Eindhoven North, a FieldLab has been realized to induce innovation in sports for the purpose of increasing sports participation in the Netherlands.   FieldLab Eindhoven The FieldLab is a practical real life test facility in which new products and services can be developed, tested and implemented into the field of sports and a commercial sports market.The lab consists of a playground with interactive play equipment and fields of artificial turf. It appears to be more of a playground than a true test setting, which is in fact the unique power of the FieldLab. Lots of activities, like school sports, children’s parties, corporate day’s out and so on, are organized in the FieldLab. This provides access to many interesting groups that are willing to participate in the development of new sports products.   The current playground was built three years ago in a cooperative structure between public and private parties. The City of Eindhoven worked closely with commercial companies which placed their newest equipment on the grounds.   To hold on to the innovative character of the FieldLab, new products and play environments are constantly created and placed on the grounds. This again will be done in the same cooperative manner as described above.   Partners The FieldLab is founded by the City of Eindhoven and InnoSportNL and collaborates with many interesting partners, like technical and applied universities, institutes of sports medicine, the Dutch Olympic Committee, the Dutch institute for sports and movement and many SME’s from the Brainport region. Therefore the FieldLab can rely on a broad network of parties in the field of sports, knowledge, government and business. The innovative projects at the FieldLab will often result in new businesses or new business lines for existing companies.

City of Delft

In 1246, Delft received its city franchise from the Dutch Earl Willem II. Its tradition is rooted in the House of Orange and fine blue delftware. The core values of Delft besides history are technology, creativity and innovation. Delft stands for the talent of making new finds by way of analysis, intelligence and experiment. Delft’s rich history teaches us that a feeling for technology and creativity has traditionally been delivering new answers. Delft is a liberal, pioneering and inventive city. It is the combination of the four core values named above that plays a major role in establishing future opportunities for the city.   FieldLab Delft The purpose in the ProFit-project is to create an innovative playground for children, adults, disabled people. Used by different kinds of organizations: schools, sports, welfare, nursing. The FieldLab has to provide the users with a challenging playground. A place where they like to come more often, where they can meet each other. An existing playground, in a natural environment, must be therefore radically transferred. ProFit will change it in a wonderful example for Delft, the Netherlands and hopefully for Europe.

City council of Sheffield

Sheffield is one of England’s largest cities and a metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. It gained its city charter in 1893 and officially became titled the City of Sheffield. It now covers a total area of 368 km2. Sheffield City Council is a metropolitan district. As such, we have responsibility for the full range of local authority services. Only public transport, fire & civil defence and the Police Authority are managed across the whole of South Yorkshire. Sheffield is located fairly centrally in Britain. It is the only city to include part of a national park, the Peak District, within its borders.   Geography Sheffield is geographically very diverse. The urban area nestles in a natural bowl created by seven hills and the confluence of 5 rivers: the Don, Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter. Much of the city is built on these hillsides, with views into the city centre or out to open countryside. With an estimated total of over two million trees, Sheffield has more trees per person than any other city in Europe. It has over 170 woodlands, 78 public parks and 10 public gardens. Added to this are 135 km2 of national park and almost 11 km2 of water, resulting in 61 percent of the city comprising green space. This unique combination makes Sheffield the greenest city in Britain.   Culture and Sport The city has a thriving cultural and creative industries sector, accounting for 7.2% of Sheffield’s working population – almost double the national average.Sheffield is the first National City of Sport, with a range of high quality facilities originally built for the World Student Games in the city in 1991. These include the Don Valley Stadium, The Sheffield Hallam Arena and the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, with its Olympic-sized pool and diving pool.Sheffield is also home to the English Institute of Sport, with an indoor running track and facilities and support for over 20 sports including athletics, diving, cycling, squash and boxing . The World Snooker Championships have been held in the city’s Crucible Theatre since 1977.The world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC, has recently celebrated it’s 150th anniversary. The city also has two professional football clubs, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.   ProFit: Lowfield Park Sheffield City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service (P&C) has the responsibility for delivering the FieldLab in Lowfield Park. P&C have a close working relationship with Sheffield Hallam University and work collaboratively on all aspects of ProFit. P&C is responsible for the management, maintenance and development of the City’s parks and recreational green spaces. The P&C Service manages 730 sites city-wide, covering 3,230 hectares and attract 25 – 40 million individual visits each year. Sheffield has a long-term Green and Open Space Strategy and all our services are guided by this document.

Get Involved

 We invite you to get involved! Partners in ProFit invite  governments (local, regional and national), businesses, universities and research institutes, NGO’s and other parties involved in promotion of sports and excercise, product innovation and business creation to get involved in the ProFit project.