Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has announced the founding of the Sports Technology and Innovation Group (STIG), tasked with exploring a range of high-tech solutions that will help enable the safe return of audiences to elite sports events.
The independent team of sport, health and tech experts is chaired by David Ross, co-founder of Carphone Warehouse and non executive director of the British Olympic Association.
STIG will also involve deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, who played an integral role in producing Government guidance around the safe return of elite and grassroots sport, alongside representatives from the Premier League, Microsoft, Innovate Finance and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
The DCMS said STIG will work closely with sports bodies and the Sport Grounds Safety Authority to “explore the whole ‘fan journey’ from home to venue”.
The move follows prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on 22 September that audiences would not be allowed to return to sports events, as expected, on 1 October. He said the ban could be in place for six months.
Dowden said, “I will not give up on finding ways to get fans back safely. The STIG will be working through innovative ideas and technology which could help get fans back where they belong, in stadia and grounds, more quickly. This is vital work that will continue apace.”