A sporting chance to maximise human potential



Oriam under construction

A unique approach to maximising human performance through multi-disciplinary research has been launched by the group behind Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, at Heriot-Watt.

Delegates representing a wide range of research specialties have gathered from around the country to discuss how collaborative and interdisciplinary research can enhance human performance not only in sport but across a full range of activities and pursuits.

What we will have here is a multi-user group environment, a range of users with a range of needs and requirements.
Neil Gibson

When Oriam opens its doors the Edinburgh Campus will become the permanent training base for top Scottish athletes from a range of sports as well as for university students and staff and local community members.

The organisers believe that this unique opportunity to work directly with athletes, coaches, medical professionals and National Governing Bodies will provide a platform to develop innovative and interdisciplinary research projects which will have real world applications extending far beyond  purely the world of sport.

Neil Gibson, Senior Sports Scientist at Oriam, says he and the team are determined to make the most of this unique opportunity. “Clearly maximising the performance of Scotland’s top athletes is the main priority at Oriam. But what we will have here is a multi-user group environment, a range of users with a range of needs and requirements.

“We believe that the lessons we will learn from our inter-disciplinary research and programmes will allow us to make a positive impact on sporting performance and the nation’s health in its widest sense.”

Research projects are already underway across a range of topics, and plans for future research intensification include:

  • Injury tracking and reduction, identifying age and previous injury as predictive of future injury and of potential interest to data analysts, computer programmers, physiologists, textile designers and psychologists in order to understand the human impact of prolonged periods of absence due to injury
  • Interventions to enhance health and wellness, of potential interest to physiologists, psychologists, engineers, software designers and data analysts
  • Executive function, cognition and memory, providing an opportunity for experts in psychology, textile design, physiology and coaching to collaborate
  • Wearable technologies, providing an opportunity for collaboration between physiologists, engineers, software designers and textile specialists
  • Developing high performance environments, culture and strategic change, an area of research which may be interesting for those involved in management studies, languages, psychology and business
  • Narrative and qualitative research, providing an opportunity for psychologists to work in collaboration with physiologists, dieticians, food scientists, data analysts and public health workers
  • Data mining and trend analysis, of potential interest to data analysts, computer programmer and software designers