The pursuit of knowledge development has deep roots in Groningen, which is mainly reflected in the past and current status of our University founded in 1614. The University of Groningen (UG) is the second-oldest university in the Netherlands and has an international orientation with a rich academic tradition.

Since the establishment, the university has brought forward striving academics, like four Nobel Prize winners, five Spinoza Prize winners, multiple mayors and Aletta Jacobs (the first woman who officially attended a Dutch university). Quality has had top priority for four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or  around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists. A total of 32.700 (inter)national students are educated in >100 Masters and >50Bachelor programs. In order to do so, the university has eleven faculties, nine graduate schools, 27 research centers and institutes, and more than 175 degree programs.

The University of Groningen collaborates closely with other research institutions in Groningen, known as the Hanze University of Applied Sciences and the University Medical Center Groningen  (UMCG). Students and employees ofthe Hanze University of Applied Sciences are  working on solution for their world of tomorrow. Energy, Healthy Ageing and Entrepreneurship are all focus points within their research. By using innovation hubs, in which research, education and business come together and collaborate, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences shares their talent and moves the world.

Research and education at the UMCG are funded through the University of Groningen, and the Faculty of Medical Sciences functions as an integral part of the University. The UMCG is one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands. Research at the UMCG is characterized by a combination of fundamental and patient oriented clinical research. The interaction between these two stimulates the development of new clinical and research opportunities. Problems that occur in the clinical practice act as a catalyst which sets new fundamental research in motion, whereas fundamental research can come up with new clinical possibilities.

The connection between UG, Hanze University of Applied Sciences and UMCG is, next to research and education, also reflected in the way sport is organized in Groningen. For UG and Hanze University students for example, the ACLO was founded in 1945. This is the largest  overarching student sport organization of the Netherlands. The ACLO represents the student’s sport of Groningen on a national level. At this moment, nearly 19.000 students are active at the ACLO in many ways, for example in American football, field soccer, court soccer, indoor soccer and rugby. The ACLO is therefore the most important supplier of sports for students in Groningen. Among those students of the UG and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences are also 240 ‘top sport students’ who, next to their studies, deliver highly performance in their sport.


SSIG unites the forces from the three knowledge and researchinstitutions UG, Hanze  University of Applied Sciences, UMCG, and together with the government (Municipality of Groningen)and entrepreneurs (represented by the Lode Holding), SSIG forms an  important network for science and innovation regarding sports, exercise and physical  activity in the northern Netherlands. It is a unique combination of key partners who
collaborate at a regional, national and international level.

What do we stand for?

Our core value is to initiate, boost, develop and share scientific knowledge and innovations regarding sports, exercise and physical activity in order to optimize performance in sports, rehabilitation and people’s daily lives. This is done by conducting research, providing education (minor Sport Science) and share knowledge by organizingevents. Research ranges from more fundamental lab-based research
towards applied research in practical settings and from beingquantitative to qualitative and covers a wide range of areas. With this, we try to bridge the gap between science and practice. SSIG focusses on two goals: enhance performance and engage society.

How is football positioned in SSIG?

A large amount of research in Groningen is performed in the direction of football; that’s why Groningen is called the ‘football science hotspot of the Netherlands’

Football is a focus sport of SSIG and has therefore its own independent cluster within the institute; Football Science Groningen (FSG). Football Science Groningen wants to  exchange knowledge in the world of football through research, education and  innovation. To achieve this, it initiates research on its core themes in line with SSG, namely Football & Performance and Football & Society, in close collaboration with  several (professional) football organization across the Netherlands and the football federation.