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Technological Boost for Sevilla FC’s Women’s Academy

The LaLiga Impulse Plan has been a significant advancement for Spanish football clubs in terms of innovation, allowing them to materialize many of their future projects. In the case of Sevilla FC, talking about innovation is discussing one of the pillars of its strategic plan for the coming years. Technological development is a major commitment that is positioning the club at the forefront of European football. This is a path that all areas of the organization are taking, with a particular emphasis on the sports sector, where women’s football plays a significant role in present and future plans.

In this sense, the arrival of the Impulse Plan and CVC funds has facilitated the implementation of technological systems throughout the structure of Sevilla FC’s women’s academy. ‘Our commitment to women’s football is not something new, but this contribution pushes us to grow more in terms of human resources and facilities,’ explains Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, Monchi, the club’s Sporting Director. ‘The R&D department presented this project to us, and we understood that it was an opportunity to streamline and reduce the time it takes for a player to reach and adapt to the first team,’ emphasizes Amparo Gutiérrez, Director of Women’s Football at the club.

The advent of data and its multiple analyses on a large and small scale has revolutionized the world of football. Sevilla FC realized several years ago that a path of differentiation from competitors was opening up. Through its R&D department, the club developed a strategy to stay ahead of rivals. Now, all these advances are reaching the women’s football division of the organization. ‘There were things to improve, and we want to address them with the women’s performance department, using data to enhance the women’s teams and align their resources with those of men’s football,’ analyzes Monchi.

his project launched by Sevilla FC for its women’s academy will represent a qualitative leap in the physical preparation and training methods of the Sevilla female youth players. ‘All the knowledge we have acquired over the years in the R&D department, we want to make it available to the women’s academy and adapt it to their particularities,’ argues José María Cruz Gallardo, head of that department. Currently, the cadet, youth, and senior teams conduct two sessions per week, meticulously collecting data on speed, endurance, strength, and other parameters for subsequent analysis.

The technological infrastructure that Sevilla FC has acquired in recent years enables the implementation of such an ambitious project. ‘The provision of all the technological equipment we have is a means to achieve performance improvements through the analysis of data obtained with non-invasive methods,’ explains Cruz Gallardo. He recalls a reflection on which Sevilla FC bases its commitment to technological innovation: ‘What is not measured cannot be improved, and what is not improved eventually degrades.

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The technological future of refereeing continues to develop at Sevilla FC’s facilities.

Football is facing a crucial stage for its future. Technological advancements have long been opening up new horizons in both the sports management of clubs and in such crucial aspects as refereeing. FIFA, the world’s governing body in football, has been pursuing a tool for some time that simplifies and automates decision-making, thus helping to make this sport as fair as possible. The international body has found the perfect allies in the company Kinexon and Sevilla FC to develop the desired technologies.

If last summer the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán served as a testing ground for the semi-automatic offside system, in recent weeks, the Ciudad Deportiva José Ramón Cisneros Palacios has been the stage for new tests with geolocation-chipped balls. This technology allows for a detailed analysis of all possible data related to a footballer and the ball, which will help automate decisions such as offside or last-player situations, two of the most controversial and challenging from a human perspective. Technologies like this smart ball, coupled with intelligent image and data capture systems, assist in the day-to-day internal management of a club, allowing for the analysis of individual players as well as the more tactical aspects of the game.

Sevilla FC, through its Data and R&D&I departments and its Innovation Center, is the European club leading technological development, as demonstrated by the creation of its own tools for resource optimization in most of its areas. Even one of them, Transfer Tracker, aimed at claiming economic rights through the solidarity mechanism – for players developed in its academy – has already been commercialized by LaLiga for the rest of the clubs worldwide. Hence, it is one of the few clubs, if not the only one, that possesses the necessary infrastructure – scientific personnel, equipment, facilities, experience, etc. – to implement all the advancements being designed.

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Hydrolimit and Soldier Fly, winning projects of the II UpoEmprende Hackathon sponsored by the chair.

Hydrolimit, a device to regulate or limit water discharge and consumption in medium and low-category hotels and tourist apartments, as well as Soldier Fly, a high-quality protein product for fertilization, made from the treatment of organic waste metabolized by soldier fly larvae, have been the two winning projects of the second edition of the UPOemprende Hackathon—an event for generating ideas to solve a challenge inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This second edition, organized by the Vice-Rectorate for Institutional Relations and Foundations of the Pablo de Olavide University, through the General Directorate of Employability and Entrepreneurship, had 33 students distributed in eight multidisciplinary teams. During twelve hours, they worked to respond to the challenge posed by Recapacicla, which consisted of developing sustainable solutions to address waste issues. During the event, José Viñas, the club’s Sustainability Manager, participated as a mentor.

The jury was composed of Nuria García, Design and Strategy Coordinator in Sevilla at Andalucía Emprende; Javier Ramos, Coordinator of the Employability and Entrepreneurship Area of the UPO Foundation; Pablo Uceda, Vice President of the Association of Free Software Students at UPO ‘Esoliupo’; Juan Esteban Gómez, from the R&D&I Department of Sevilla Football Club; and Cristina Cáceres Moro, CEO of the consulting firm Ciconia and manager of the Recapacicla Universidades program. They were responsible for awarding the two prizes of 800 euros each, sponsored by the Sevilla FC Chair: University, Business, and Sports and the Recapacicla Universidades program. In the closing ceremony, in addition to the jury, participants included the General Director of Employability and Entrepreneurship at Pablo de Olavide University, Amapola Povedano; the Director of the Higher Technical School at UPO, Norberto Díaz, as well as the ambassador of the Sevilla FC Foundation, Antonio Álvarez