Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


BrainPEER Report Summary

Project ID: 672930

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BrainPEER (Brain Performance Enhancement Revolution - Advanced Cognitive Training System for Football Players)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

BrainPEER (Brain Performance Enhancement Revolution), is a project run by ACE (Applied Cognitive Engineering Ltd.) aimed at the development and commercialization of the first-ever cognitive training program for football. Its goal is to present a highly effective brain-training system for football players. It will do so by adopting ACE’s patented Cognitive Simulation technology to football, demonstrating it with elite football academies, then run field trials with individual youth players.

Football is the world’s most popular sport. Due to its competitive nature, football players of various ages are in a constant quest to improve their game and win. Some aspire to reach fame and financial prosperity. Others seek higher social status and acceptance. According to football experts, the main differentiating skill between good football players and average ones is game intelligence. Alas, there are currently no effective tools to improve this critical aptitude. ACE proposes an innovative and highly effective cognitive training program, addressing football-related cognitive skills such as spatial awareness, anticipation, and decision making. The outcome of the project will be a market-ready brain-training product for football players of all ages and skill levels – the Football IntelliGym. The program is designed as a friendly video-game, will be compatible with mobile devices, and at an affordable price.
Once the Football IntelliGym is market-tested and finalized, ACE plans to introduce it a huge target market: 265 million football players, of which 61 million are in Europe.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first year of the BrainPEER project, all the planned activities were carried out and all milestones met.
Specifically, the main goal of the first year of the project was to have multiple football academies using the first version of the Football IntelliGym training program.

The primary effort of the project so far was the development of the training system. First, a thorough cognitive task analysis has been conducted, mapping the cognitive skills involved in the game of football. Based on this analysis, the training paradigm (detailed training objectives and related cognitive stimuli) was defined. With this paradigm at hand, the research and development team has defined the various components of the training environment (including definition of game play, movement dynamics, objects, rules, scoring and feedback). In addition the detailed training plan had been put together (this plan presents the training progress, levels of difficulty and personal adaptation algorithms). This development effort was accompanied by surveys and interviews carried out in the initial target market – Germany and the Netherlands. The information gathered during numerous meetings with coaches, managers, players and parents not only reassured the need for this training tool, but was very helpful in understanding the prospective users mindset, needs and habits.
This extensive effort culminated in the development of the first-ever cognitive training program for football players.

When the first prototype of the program was ready, the trial run was launched. Studying the efficacy of the Football IntelliGym is done in collaboration with leading football performance researchers (Prof. Daniel Memmert of the Cologne Sport University and Prof. Geert Savelsbergh of the VU University Amsterdam). The study will compare the on-pitch performance of football players, before and after their cognitive training. This data will also be compared to a control group. In order to have sufficient sample size and varied market outreach, the pilot is conducted in 7 teams in 4 countries. The pilot was launched on Feb. 2016 and it is expected to be concluded by June 2016.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

ACE’s innovative training technology is proven to significantly improve the performance of trainees in a specific task. The training approach is specifically effective in complex environments, where there is a need to cope with a lot of data in short time, and fast decision making is required.

ACE is a pioneer and market leader in the field of cognitive training for athletes. It has already proved the concept both technologically and commercially - with ice-hockey in North America. ACE’s strategy is to present its revolutionary training concept in sports first, where performance is highly visible and constantly quantified. This will pave the way to presenting effective brain trainers for other complex and cognitive-challenging professions such as first-responders, medical staff, operators of control centres (e.g. airport controllers and smart city officers), and drivers.

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