Football innovation in Denmark – Design of a collaboration and activity model

Bidragets oversatte titel: Fodboldinnovation i Danmark – Design af en samarbejds- og aktivitetsmodel

Publikation: Bog/rapportRapportFormidling

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As a collaboration between the Danish FA (Dansk Boldspil-Union), Danish League (Divisionsforeningen), University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and Odense Municipality the aim is to establish a football centre in Odense. Bringing together actors
like the above-mentioned academia, industry, government, and civil society is important in order to strengthen regional innovation (Roman et al. 2020), and a collaboration model can be a way to communicate, interact, and attract relevant stakeholders.
The aim of this project is to propose a collaboration model for the innovation centre that embraces the Nordic social innovation values and potentially improves the effectiveness of the collaboration between multiple stakeholders.
Using the quadruple helix collaboration model of innovation as a theoretical starting point, the aim was to create a collaboration model recognising the Nordic value of social innovation and create an open system with the civil and business society as active stakeholders. Through a co-creational design research approach, workshops served the purpose of engaging the stakeholders’ groups of Football Startup in Denmark, Football related NGOs, DBU, Divisionsforeningen, Football researchers at SDU, foundation staff and representatives from Odense Municipality informing, legitimising
and validating the collaboration model.
The final collaboration and activity model as illustrated to the left is a quadruple helix model representing the four main stakeholders: Academia as
Research and Development (blue), the industry as Football and Sports industry (red), the Civil Society as Football Organisation (green) and the Policymakers
as the public sector and private funds (yellow). The six design stages and process activities are shown on top of the stakeholders, illustrating the iterative design process to Engage, to identify Needs, to Match make stakeholders, to Develop and test artefacts of products and services, to Implement invented and developed artefacts and to evaluate Impact as illustrated in the figure below.
These elements of innovation are comparable to a service, technology, and product design approach for stakeholders relevant to the innovation centre.

Based on the insights from the workshop and the analysis, we have identified collaboration potential for the innovation centre. Besides well-established collaborations between stakeholders, the innovation centre should support and further develop identified collaboration gaps.
1. We see a potential collaboration between grassroots clubs working together with researchers and municipalities to open a flank for projects and funding new initiatives and knowledge generation by collaborating more closely, focusing on socially vulnerable youth and citizens. Efforts of such a civil society perspective can provide the opportunity for funding support, we believe.
2. We also see a great opportunity for elite clubs and startups to have a clearer focus on CSR and a focus on social engagement in the local communities the clubs are part of. These new options of consortiums may open for new creative idea generation and new financial resources.
3. We also see an opportunity for startups to seek funding potentially based on having a more profound focus on socially responsible projects collaborating with NGOs and as a way of offering football to the general public with a different focus than performance enhancement.
4. To strengthen the entrepreneurial thinking and ecosystem of football startups in Denmark, we also identified the opportunity of creating a more profound focus on making events and matchmaking between startups and venture capital resources. That would support the existing startups, which in general boost innovation in football and football technology development for the competitiveness of Danish football.
Bidragets oversatte titelFodboldinnovation i Danmark – Design af en samarbejds- og aktivitetsmodel
ForlagSyddansk Universitet. Institut for Idræt og Biomekanik
Antal sider68
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-94233-52-1
StatusUdgivet - 23. aug. 2021


  • Fodbold
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration