Singapore sports agency sets up data exchange to accelerate growth in sports ecosystem
By Yogesh Hirdaramani
SportSG has announced a new data-sharing platform to nurture the country’s sports ecosystem, by making data from its National Sport Participation Survey and ActiveSG facilities usage available.
In his opening address, Minister Edwin Tong shared on some of the new initiatives launched by SportSG to nurture the sports and fitness industry. Image: SportSG
A new data-sharing platform by the Singapore sports agency, Sport Singapore (SportSG), could help sports ecosystem players, from gym operators to event organisers, improve their programmes and offerings.
Sport Data Exchange Singapore, or SportDexSG, was launched on 16 January 2024 at Spotlight, the first of a quarterly networking series which aims to bring together stakeholders from the sports and fitness industry.
The inaugural session of the Spotlight series saw the announcement of new initiatives to further nurture the country’s growing sports industry.
Data exchange to drive collaboration
The new data exchange platform aims to “uplift the industry and fuel greater innovation and creativity through the use of data,” shared Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth in his opening remarks at the event.
For instance, an events management company can tap on available data to understand which sports activities are most popular and the demographics that are most engaged. This in turn can help guide the events that they plan and the kinds of marketing strategies to adopt, he shared.
Currently, the data exchange platform hosts data from SportSG’s annual National Sport Participation Survey, as well as datasets on the usage of public gyms and swimming facilities under the ActiveSG banner. In the long term, the agency has plans to enable other industry players to contribute their own datasets.
The online platform enables registered users to view interactive dashboards as well as download datasets and industry reports, and all personally identifiable data will be encrypted to maintain anonymity, according to the website’s FAQ.
Other government agencies in Singapore have introduced data exchange platforms to support various industries in Singapore. These include the SGFinDex, which acts as a single secure gateway for all financial data and SGTraDex, which enables the trusted sharing of data between supply chain players.
Supporting innovation with grants
Besides the new data exchange platform, Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, announced that the agency will be enhancing Enterprise Innovation and Capability Development Grant, which funds innovation projects within the sports and adjacent industry.
The enhanced grant will now provide up to $1 million funding for innovation projects, a five times increase from the previous cap of $180,000 per project, and aims to support projects addressing challenges like enhancing fan engagement and increasing sport participation.
“It’s about cleverly using technology and applying that to the problems we’re trying to solve,” said Roy Teo, Chief of Industry Development, Technology & Innovation, SportSG in a fireside chat.
The grant will now support a wider range of projects, including those related to active virtual sports, or esports, and companies organising independent innovation competitions. Organisations such as the Institutes of Higher Learning and National Sports Associations are also now eligible to apply.
The grant previously supported projects such as Refract Technologies, a local tech company that develops esports, and CruCycle, an indoor cycling studio.