Glamor, excellency at the BIGG Sports Awards ceremony
The president of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBITAK), professor Hasan Mandal, announced that they are aiming to expand the process reach of unifying technology and sports, which has already been initiated through the technoparks of universities, to a much broader ecosystem.
He said this at the Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM) in Istanbul where the Individual Young Entrepreneur (BIGG) Sports Awards were presented in a spectacular ceremony, attended by the Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank and Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu.
At the award ceremony, Mandal said that TÜBITAK is committed to nurturing entrepreneurs in their mission of transforming their innovative technology and locality-oriented business concepts into viable commercial products and services in businesses with research and development (R&D) potential.
Highlighting that they had launched the BIGG initiative in 2015 to convert their business concepts into actionable plans, Mandal said: “We are attempting to identify budding entrepreneurs from all around Türkiye through this effort. Additionally, we are continuously refining our approach to keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship.”
Mandal explained that in order to expand the scope of this process, they had reached out to the technoparks of their universities in 2022.
This led to the involvement of 134 implementing organizations, in order to transform business ideas into business plans with the help of accelerator training.
Furthermore, they had also incorporated the participation of banks, fund institutions, investor networks and 35 capital companies, which greatly contributed to the success of the project and the growth of the entrepreneurship ecosystem of their country.
He announced that TÜBITAK is transforming its industry grant support program to incorporate innovative models, reflecting the shifting ecosystem of the modern age.
Emphasizing the importance of new technologies in enabling athletes and coaches to reach new heights in their performance, Mandal said: “These technologies can make dreams come true, regardless of physical ability or access to sports. We are setting an example with our protocol of developing together and achieving together. This year, we saw an overwhelming response to our first-ever call for sports research in Türkiye. We received a multitude of project applications that cover a wide variety of disciplines and have an interdisciplinary approach to sports sciences, and in the end, we were able to support 31 projects.”
Expressing his delight that some of the companies supported in this project had been honored among the top 20 at the prestigious BIGG Sports Awards, Mandal declared that TÜBITAK will continue to provide unwavering support to entrepreneurs.
The BIGG Sports Cups were presented to the top five companies that demonstrated remarkable success with their entrepreneurial projects, thus setting a benchmark for hyper-excellency.
Within the ambit of the “Cooperation Protocol on Scientific Research, Entrepreneurship and Raising Scientific Awareness in Youth” signed with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, six companies – Hercules Biomedical, IVMES Sports Technologies, Sensiball VR, NAVEK Sportive Products and Consulting, and Filament Technology Engineering Consulting – took part in the inaugural BIGG Sports Awards Competition.
After a highly competitive event, the top 5 companies were rewarded with the BIGG Sports Cups and a glorious sum of TL 1 million ($53,000).
Competitors in the sixth to 20th places in the competition were bestowed with honorable mentions and certificates of appreciation.
The TÜBITAK supported competition seeks to cultivate inventive strategies in all aspects of sports, to promote technological entrepreneurship, and to heighten recognition of sports technologies, which are “Augmented and virtual reality applications in sports technologies,” “Artificial intelligence applications in sports,” “Wearable technologies in sports,” “Individual and team tracking-analysis systems,” “Training, rehabilitation and health technologies in sports,” “Indigenization of imported sports equipment” and “Artificial limb/prosthetic technologies in sports” categories.
The spectacular products that were taking part in the competition were displayed in the illustrious Foyer Area of the AKM Theater Stage, prior to the award ceremony that was arranged with the aid of TÜBITAK, Bilişim Vadisi, Teknopark Istanbul and Artaş Group.
As part of the competition, experts gathered at AKM Yeşilçam Cinema to explore the exciting relationship between sports and technology in three panels titled: “Unhindered Technologies, Peak Sports Performance,” “The Other Side of the Coin: Sports Technology as a Financial Investment Area” and “Keeping Up with Digital Transformation in Sports.”
Here, the audience gained insight into how technology can push the boundaries of sports performance and fuel financial investments.