How did Leicester City FC manage to over-perform last year? SciSports tackles international football world with groundbreaking ‘MRI scan’ technology

SciSports, a client of Idox funding solution Vindsubsidies, has won a large grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for its prestigious BallJames project, focused on bringing 3D data to the world of professional football. With a computer vision solution comparable to a big MRI scan, the team at SciSports is aiming to change ‘the beautiful game’ radically with its latest work.

The high-tech startup has developed an innovative system that instantly transforms a stadium, or any environment, into something like a large MRI scan, using fourteen cameras to record everything that happens on the pitch and turning it into real-time 3D data.

What is Leicester City lacking this season? BallJames generates answers…
Simon Cals, the Manchester-based UK representative of SciSports comments:  “The football world is fast becoming increasingly adaptive to the use of data analytics to gain a competitive advantage, but the data currently available is heavily incomplete and inaccurate. How did Leicester manage to over-perform for such an extensive period last year? How big was Kante's role in their achievements? And what is it exactly the team is lacking this season? The new data BallJames generates can help answer these questions.”

Tracking 3D data in what is known as ‘streaming captured reality’, the technology delivers the equipment required for a completely new football viewing experience and provides extremely valuable insights for coaches and scouts, sports performance analysis departments, sports federations and regulatory bodies, broadcasting companies and the gaming and gambling industry. Such insights are anticipated to greatly influence and change the outlook and understanding of the international, professional football world.

International impact convinced grant jury
SciSports was awarded the European grant due to project impact and innovation. The team won over the European grant jury with the ambition to conquer the international football market with BallJames. In addition, the trust and tangible input from external investors – representing a total investment amount of €1.3m – demonstrates the market's enthusiasm for this groundbreaking project, judged the evaluators of the EDRF.

BallJames – from innovative idea to investment
Marnix Smit, a Vindsubsidies consultant and former professional football player, headed up the consultancy team that provided the support and expertise to guide SciSports through the ERDF grant application process. He commented: “The BallJames project is all about turning data into knowledge for the benefit of an industry. It showcases just what an innovative idea can do when combined with digital technologies and a strong consultative approach. The Vindsubsidies team is proud to have supported such a great concept and to have helped SciSports realise their project ambition with the European grant win. We’ve believed in this project from the start and look forward to seeing what the future will hold for this kind of technology.”

Vindsubsidies will continue to support SciSports with the administrative activities of the grant process, including financial accountability.

Along with additional funds secured from external investors, the grant makes it possible for SciSports to develop BallJames into a market-ready product, expected to be launched internationally within a few years. For further details, visit the BallJames project website.

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