News Details | 24-Sep-2013

NTU partners Russia’s Sportmaster in sports research

First research and development centre by Russian sports retail giant

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will be partnering Russia’s leading sports retail giant, Sportmaster to start a joint innovation centre in Singapore.

The new innovation centre, which aims to pioneer breakthrough sports technology for Sportmaster, will be housed under NTU’s Institute of Sports Research. This is Sportmaster’s first foray into sports equipment research and development.

The Institute of Sports Research is set up by NTU in collaboration with UK’s University of Loughbrough, renowned for its sports technology research, and with the support of Singapore’s Economic Development Board.
The new SMG Innovation Centre @ ISR will have an initial starting budget of S$5 million over the next three years and will focus on developing a full range of innovative sports apparel and equipment for sale in Sportmaster’s retail chain of 368 outlets in over 80 cities worldwide.

The partnership was sealed today in a signing ceremony by NTU Provost Professor Freddy Boey and General Manager of Sport and Fashion Management, Dmitry Barkov at the Russia-Singapore Business Forum 2013 held at Suntec City Singapore.

The annual Russia-Singapore Business Forum, now in its 8th year, aims to facilitate greater business networking and matchmaking opportunities that will drive growth for their respective markets. Today, RSBF is seen as Asia’s only leading business and networking platform linking Russia/ CIS political and business elites with Singapore and the rest of Asia.

It was witnessed by Singapore’s Senior Minister of State Mr Lee Yi Shyan and Russian Ambassador in Singapore Mr Leonid Moiseev.

Asia is seeing huge growth in the sports industry and sports research is a growing area for NTU.

“From advanced nanomaterial composites to developing new high performance fabrics, the highly competitive sports industry is now advancing rapidly in both technological breakthroughs and manufacturing processes,”  said Professor Boey.

“Our interdisciplinary strengths in both materials science and mechanical engineering research and development as well as our established track record in working with industry players will give us an edge in our goal to become top in sports research in the region.

“Sportmaster has chosen NTU to be their first partner. This shows the strong confidence they have in our faculty and in our ability to produce world-class disruptive innovations and technological solutions to address the challenges faced by the sports industry,” he added

Mr Dmitry Barkov said, “We first met up with NTU for discussions in 2011. Two years on, we made a final decision to partner NTU. In this regard, our key considerations are: NTU’s proven track record in both materials science and mechanical engineering research; NTU having a designated Institute of Sports Research to spearhead sports innovation; and Singapore’s proximity to large manufacturing bases in the Southeast Asia which makes it easier to translate technology into prototype and mass production.”

“Sportmaster is a sustainable company with a stellar reputation in the market. Our mission is to provide customers with up-to-date sports technology and quality products at affordable prices. Having our own research and development facility will better enable us to meet our customers’ expectations. Moreover, we would be able to bring innovative solutions and new technology to Russia.”

He added that moving forward, Sportmaster intends to establish research connections between their joint research centre with NTU and the research institutes in Russia to benefit from the exchange of knowledge, information and technology.

Sportmaster, currently the biggest retailer of sporting goods in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine, is now also eyeing the opening of retail outlets in China.

Mr Pascal Joubert des Ouches, Executive Director of NTU’s Institute of Sports Research, said he expects to have good research outcomes geared towards practical product development for Sportmaster.

“Apart from generating new disruptive sports innovations, our collaboration with Sportmaster has all the necessary confidentiality measures and protection measures in place, so companies looking to work with us can also expect the same level of professionalism, assurance and confidence that Sportmaster has from us,” said Mr Pascal, graduated from School of Engineering “Arts et Metiers Paris Tech” and ESSEC business school, former professional windsurfer, with 23 years of experience in sports technology innovation management.

Executive Director of  RSBF and former ambassador to Russia, Mr Michael Tay, said, “RSBF is about pushing the frontiers and pioneering new ideas between businesses between both countries and regions. The forum has played a supportive role in nurturing business relations between both countries for close to a decade. The Sportmaster – NTU collaboration is another milestone for RSBF.”


Media contacts:

Danny Cham
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6592 3557

Katrine Pershina
Senior Project Manager
Sport & Fashion Pte Ltd
Tel: 66104279, Ext: 387

Gerald de Cotta
Corporate Communications Director
Singapore Business Federation
Tel: 68276896

About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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About Sportmaster Group

For 20 years, the Sportmaster Group has been successfully advancing vertically integrated (production and merchandising) business models in the sporting and recreational goods market, as well as the casualwear market. Businesses are developed under the portfolio strategy based on the synergy effect arising between businesses, and this effect serves as a basis for acquiring unique expertise determining key success factors.

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