Mission-driven research and innovation

In the sport and exercise sector, various societal challenges (wicked problems) have persisted for years without any signs of a solution on the horizon. We want to change that with new knowledge from research, with previously unused knowledge, and with innovations. We are therefore initiating a movement towards mission-driven research and innovation in sport and exercise. This will focus on everyday practice and will reveal where knowledge and/or innovations are needed.

Societal challenge

A wicked problem is a societal challenge that represents a complex problem that needs a breakthrough, which cannot be realised without a joint effort from a range of interested parties. With research and innovation, we want to contribute to solutions for these wicked problems. Solutions with which we can take steps towards systemic changes. We do this in collaboration with representatives from the quadruple helix of users, science, government and industry.

Six wicked problems

Six wicked problems have been defined. These concern questions such as what ensures that certain groups who now participate far less start to exercise or take part in (un)organised sports activities? How can we ensure that young people also continue to exercise when they become older? How do we ensure that sport and exercise are part of the treatment provided in healthcare? In other words: how do we keep sport both accessible and affordable?

Het MOOI huis waarin ieder raam een wick problem representeert

Wicked problem: Residents of disadvantaged neighbourhoods exercise less

People with a low income and a low level of education play sports less and exercise less often than people with a high income and higher level of education. Nearly half of the lowest income groups never play sports. In disadvantaged neighbourhoods, this issue is a major concern. How can the participation in sport and the time spent on exercising in such neighbourhoods be structurally increased? View the wicked problem.

Living healthier and taking part in society through playing sports and exercising more often

Wicked problem: Children and young people are exercising less and their motor skills are deteriorating

Children and young people are exercising less and their motor skills are deteriorating. How much children and young people exercise and play sports depends on the home situation, neighbourhood and school. How can we turn the tide? View the wicked problem.

Children and young people are healthier when they have more exercise skills, exercise more and play sports more often

Wicked problem: Healthcare does not deploy sport and exercise enough

In many cases, sport and exercise are not an integral part of the medical treatment and care provided, not even as part of preventative healthcare. How can we ensure that care professionals prescribe exercise as a preventative measure and in the treatment of diseases and conditions? View the wicked problem. 

An improved quality of life and lower costs due to sport and exercise as part of (preventative) treatment and care

Wicked problem: The value of professional sports has not been sufficiently demonstrated

We can only increase the value of professional sports if we can make that value clearer and more demonstrable. How can we achieve that? How and what do professional sports inspire? What is the significance of professional sports in the broadest sense of the word and how can we increase this? View the wicked problem. 

Increasing the value of professional sports requires more insight into what that value means for society and how it is created

Wicked problem: Too little use is made of the sports infrastructure

The Netherlands has a fantastic sports infrastructure with facilities such as sports halls and fields. These facilities are mainly used in the evening and during the weekend. At other times, especially in the case of outdoor sports, they are not used. How do we ensure that new target groups use the existing sports infrastructure more and better? View the wicked problem. 

Sports facilities often remain unused and there are many advantages to be gained from better deploying these

Wicked problem: The affordability of sports is threatened

What is needed to develop a good quality, integral provision by sports clubs and businesses so that people who do not yet exercise (enough) start participating in sport? How can we pay for that and what does that mean for the affordability and funding of sports? View the wicked problem . 

With sport, we want to achieve a greater societal impact but how do we pay for quality and professionalisation?