“The world wide culture of sports has changed and will continue to do so over the foreseeable future. Traditional approaches to all aspects of athletic competition are being challenged to provide a competitive edge for athletes and coaches, more efficient, effective and successful systems to achieve the highest potential results, optimal nutritional and strength preparation and safer protective equipment. From data analytics to sports medicine to sports architecture to ‘smart apparel,’ there is a wide range of opportunity to build upon what has already been done or imagined, as well as what is yet to be imagined.”
—Joe Hakes, 2017 CSI vision statement
The Center for Sports Innovation is the brainchild of former Illinois Institute of Technology Athletics Director Joe Hakes, who in 2017 envisioned a partnership between the university’s extensive resources in research and technology, and its athletics department. It was formulated in 2023 by the university’s research council and interim provost.
The Center is a hub for research and development of a wide variety of technologically related materials, systems and businesses that impact the world of sports. It seeks to combine academic inquiry, commercial development and scientific approach to athletic preparation to enhance the sports industry’s progress in embracing technological improvement. It further establishes the reputation of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology as leaders in scientific progress in sports tech, business incubation, growth, and contribution to the existing sports world.
The Center provides research and development in the following areas, among others:
- Data analytics for a wide variety of sports
- Human performance; physical and behavioral
- Testing and development of materials for equipment and apparel
- Sports architecture
- Business and entrepreneurial planning and implementation
The Center will work with a wide variety of constituents to identify needs in the sports industry that would spur research and development. Additionally, the Center will be receptive to new ideas and directions that relate to sports tech innovation. The combination of these two avenues to progress will create a nimble and exciting environment in which to work and study.
The Center partners and coordinates with the following academic units within Illinois Institute of Technology: