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Research as an enabler

We are obsessed with helping athletes and consumers make a difference in their game, in their life and in their world. Our focus is to create the best product,the best services and best experiences for our consumers and we invite them to explore new territories and co-create the future of sport with us. As the creator brand, we like to challenge convention, make new rules and disrupt the norm. 

Creators today live in a constantly changing world and they demand newness and immediacy without compromise. In this rapidly changing environment, our culture and passion for innovation and consistent investment in research and development is essential. 

Creating something new is about going into the unknown, trying out the unconventional, and exploring new ideas and perspectives. We are on a journey to combine sport, culture and purpose, and for this we need to work with the best partners. In line with our Open Source Strategy, adidas has been collaborating with government organisations on four key research projects to make sure that our efforts make a difference in society.

1. Speedfactory

(This section talks about SPEEDFACTORY under the context of the government funded research project, which is separate from the adidas SPEEDFACTORY set-up in Ansbach and Atlanta)

Initiated by adidas, SPEEDFACTORY is a research project under the umbrella of the German Government. The aim is to shape the future of manufacturing through innovative products and production technologies while looking into consumer needs, speed, flexibility, and sustainability. It is a part of Germany’s “Autonomic for Industry 4.0” programme, the objective of which is to push the development of autonomic systems to establish Germany as a leading industrial base for new and forward-looking internet-based technologies. The three-year research project was started in October 2013.


The Future:
adidas built on the learnings of this research project and collaborated with other industry and academic experts to bring about a revolution in the sporting goods industry. In September 2016, adidas unveiled the first Futurecraft Shoe (Futurecraft M.F.G.) created at the industry-changing SPEEDFACTORY facility in Ansbach in Germany. The next step is to bring production closer to consumers in the U.S. with a new facility in Atlanta


2. Storefactory

How do we make the in-store experiences for consumers easy, exciting and engaging? The STOREFACTORY research project looks into using manufacturing flexibility to provide customization opportunities and new digital experiences to consumers inside stores.

In December 2016, adidas opened a new pop-up store called ‘Knit for You’ in the Bikini Berlin shopping mall for a temporary three-month trial period. It aims to test localised and personalised consumer experiences in stores. Consumers are invited to design their very own Knit for You Merino wool sweater that will be knitted in the store within a few hours.

The Knit for You store is the first test of the STOREFACTORY research project that was kicked off in September 2015 and runs until May 2017.



3. Servicefactory

What does the consumer need? Is there a way to gather key data after a consumer has purchased a product that ensures we cater future experiences specifically to their particular needs? The SERVICEFACTORY research project looks into the development of an entire eco-system for innovative internet-based services catered to the consumer. The starting point is the everyday object, which collects data on the use and movement of consumers and subsequently transforms this data into innovative service offerings. It will help us react faster and cater to specific consumer needs. The project was kicked off in 2016 and will run for 30 months.



4. Sport Infinity

adidas is leading a cross-industry WRAP Consortium project, known as Sport Infinity, researching a new breed of fully recyclable sporting goods. Funded by the European Commission (DG Research, Industrial Technologies, Materials Unit), the project aims to identify and develop innovative recyclable materials and sustainable processes which will enable the production of easily customisable sporting goods, allowing greater design freedom. So every gram of a football boot could be broken down and recycled into a 3-D shapeable material for the next creator to mould into their dream product without the use of adhesives. The project was kicked off in June 2015 and will run over a three-year period.


Sport Infinity has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme 2014-2018 under grant agreement No 645987. It falls within ‘Materials solutions for use in the creative industry sector’.

Sport Infinity Consortium: