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Ian Burns sets goal for AIS to be world leader in sport technology

Ian Burns
AIS Deputy Director of Applied Technology and Innovation Ian Burns.

19 Apr 2018


America’s Cup-winning engineer Ian Burns says his goal is for the AIS to be the world leader in sport data, technology and innovation after returning home to take up a leading role for Australian sport.

Burns has commenced as AIS Deputy Director of Applied Technology and Innovation and says developments in these areas will be a major factor in Australia’s ongoing international performance over the next two decades.

“Australia and the AIS have built a great reputation in international sport, but development in technology and innovation has now reached a pivotal stage and will define how competitive we remain over the next 10 to 20 years,” Burns said. “It will be one of the defining factors in global sport. My vision is for AIS Applied Technology and Innovation to be the world leader in its field.

“We’re seeing great change in the use and accessibility of technology in sport where even recreational athletes have access to their performance data. We can’t just rely on tried and tested technology out in the market, we need to be willing to push the boundaries of innovation within sport and look to re-purpose technology from other industry.”

Burns has been consistently developing sport technology for more than 35 years, most notably in sailing. A mechanical engineer, Burns formed a powerful partnership with Iain Murray in the design of multiple Sydney to Hobart winners, before he left Australia in 1998.

Burns joins the AIS after nine America’s Cup campaigns and the past seven years as Director of Performance with Oracle Team USA.

“I am intrigued by the opportunity with the AIS and Australian sport,” Burns said. “It combines all the things I have a passion for including athlete performance, design technology and data analysis.

“I’ve been living in the global technology hub of San Francisco, and I’ve seen the fast pace of development there.  I’m excited to combine this with Australia’s attitude to embracing innovation and sport.

“America’s Cup racing is focused on consistently advancing the technology to stay ahead of the competition, so I’m really looking forward to applying that experience more broadly with the AIS and Australian sport.”

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