News 6 July 2018

Time to witness Victoria leading the way in sports science

Enhancing human performance through innovation in elite sports is the theme of the next edition of the ignite innovation series – an exciting collaboration between the Victorian Chamber, Victorian universities, CSIRO, businesses and the Victorian Government to showcase Victoria’s revolutionary industry-linked innovation and research capabilities.

Businesses, researchers, sports professionals, member of sports science industry, investors, innovation lovers or anyone interested in maximising productivity outcomes through technology should not miss the next ignite event, which will be delivered in partnership with Victoria University (VU) on 20 July at the MCG.

This FREE event will be an opportunity to learn about how local research is helping re-shape sports science and how collaborating with VU can get innovative projects off the ground.

Among the talent is Professor Damian Farrow, who in ‘talk show style’ will discuss how science is revolutionising tennis through VU’s collaborative venture with Tennis Australia (the Game Insight Group).

The Victorian Chamber interviewed Professor Farrow – who has a bright mind and personality – to gather his insights about Victoria’s innovation and get know the person behind the research.

Vic Chamber: You’ve achieved a great deal in your career to date. What motivates you every day?

Professor Farrow: A long list of uncompleted work! And the fact that it’s genuinely interesting to find out new insights into how people learn sports skills and how we can use these insights to help others.

Vic Chamber: Do you think Victoria’s love of sport is a strong catalyst for innovative research and technology ‘on and off’ the field?

Professor Farrow: I think the ecosystem of the number of professional sports housed in Victoria coupled with the number of universities has created some momentum in this area.

Vic Chamber: Is there scope for your research to be applied outside the sports arena?

Professor Farrow: Yes – the effective design of learning can be aligned to any domain where expertise is sought. Similarly, the effective use of data and how that is communicated to key stakeholders is a common issue irrespective of domain.  For example, let’s consider the score in a match at the 2017 Australian Open between Denis Istomin and Novak Djokovic, which Istomin won in five sets. Clearly, little separated the two players with Djokovic slightly shading Istomin on per cent of serve, return and total points won. But Istomin won the match and the typical stats presented to us a fans post-match were unable to provide any insight as to why. This happens because players do not have to win more points than their opponent to win a match, they just have to win more of the critical points.

Vic Chamber: What needs to happen to enhance collaboration between university researchers and the business community? Can you think of an example?

Professor Farrow: Regular communication, so we can develop a shared understanding of the industry needs and they can understand the tools and insights we have at our disposal so that we can most effectively assist with the industry need. For example, starting out relatively small via a project with a shared post-graduate student or the like may be a logical first step to “test the water” and develop the necessary shared understanding. Then from little things big things can grow!

Vic Chamber: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome to succeed in your field?

Professor Farrow: A strong desire to be a beach bum (laughter).

To learn more about Professor Farrow’s work and Victoria’s innovation, you can join us at ignite+VU.

Media Contact

All media enquiries may be directed to the Media and Communications Manager

03 8662 5310

0423 883 945

For all other enquiries please contact the Victorian Chamber on 03 8662 5333

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