• Experience Center joins Sportinnovator Sport network to drive sports innovation

Shimano’s Experience Center, based in Valkenburg in the Netherlands, has been officially recognized as a Sport Innovator venue under the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport’s sports innovation program

The Sportinnovator Certified Partner status received by the Shimano Experience Center means that it will join other venues such as the Sailing Innovation Center in Den Haag, the TU Delft Sports Engineering Institute in Delft KNVB Campus in Zeist and the Amsterdam Institute of Sport Science in being nationally recognized as a place where members of the public can try different cycling activities in fun and stimulating environment, which also helps propagate the Dutch national sports agenda.

Shimano Experience Centre’s Rob Damoiseaux: “This award is recognition of work we’ve been doing for many years already. Reaching out to communities and businesses to encourage the use of the bike as a tool to encourage healthier working and healthier social lives. In short, considering the societal benefits, not to mention the learning and feedback, we want to use our venue as a center for everyone who rides a bike and everyone who doesn’t ride a bike, and ask them to consider how they can integrate the bicycle more into their daily lives.”

Shimano Product Director Sander Kuik: “We are honoured to receive this Certified Partner award for our commitment to the Shimano Experience Center for the development of all cycling disciplines and to cross over with other Sportsinnovator centres within the Netherlands. This can help us in many future challenges and opportunities for cycling including product innovation, operational sustainability, urban mobility, vitality, connectivity and the IoT. We will be actively working with other partners to learn from other industries, which will bring our Certified Partner status to life.”

Maurits Hendriks from Topteam Sport: “Sportinnovator is the main network for sports innovation in The Netherlands. It has the ambition for the Netherlands to be one of the most innovative sports countries in the world. We combine technology, data and knowledge in sports ecosystems built for healthy societies. Sport innovator centers like the Shimano Experience Center have a central place in that ecosystem, where cycling knowledge and innovations are able to be developed for the benefit of sports professionals, or for municipalities, research institutions or other businesses. One of the reasons Shimano Experience Center was recognized as a driver of innovation is due to the commitment of the company to be constantly working to learn, improve and connect with partners to bring cycling innovations and new ways of working to life. We hope that the Experience Center will be a meeting and breeding ground where researchers, entrepreneurs, governments and other sports organizations can work together. In this way profitable innovations are developed that contribute to elite cycling and/or an active lifestyle through cycling.”

One of the businesses based at the Experience Center and able to make an immediate impact on innovation is Niels Boon, “With being based at the Experience Center we’re able to do pinpoint research, not just into the sizing of bicycles and how professional and amateur riders alike fit to those bikes, but we are looking to expand this concept. Not only do we want to fit the bike to the rider, but we also want to optimize ergonomics, pedaling efficiency and aerodynamics and want to fit the right accessories (shoes, clothes, helmets) to the rider. This knowledge will fit very well with the other research topics in Sport Innovator and will help our customers to enjoy an optimal, safe and healthy cycling experience.”

Shimano expects the first results of its Certified Partner status to be realized in the coming months when it connects with other innovation companies to explore shared synergies.