The first congress in this series was held in 1990 within a European collaborative research framework that focused on wheeled mobility. The later editions (1998, 2004, 2009) changed slightly in content, initially with stronger attention for wheeled mobility and spinal cord injury, but later on addressing broader topics in human movement and rehabilitation sciences. While the focus in terms of topics was expanded over time, the approach and objective remained the same: a congress on the cut-of-the-edge research developments with focus on mobility restoration and functional recovery in disability and handicap, understanding and development of theory as well as the practical connotation in the rehabilitation practice and adapted sports. Each of these four congress editions were productive in their own right: publications in books and in special issues as well as a growing collaboration between human movement and rehabilitation sciences, personal mobility between different disciplines and research groups, both national and international. Beyond that, there has been an important exchange with industry of measurement and research as well as clinical technologies.
With the 5th edition in 2014 the location of the congress moves from Amsterdam to Groningen, some 200 km to the North-East of the Netherlands. As often is the case, a personal change of the initiator of this congress series is fundamental to this move. The Center for Human Movement Sciences Groningen was host of the congress, while the organizing committee was composed of the three participating institutes: the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences of the Free University in Amsterdam and both the Center for Rehabilitation of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and the Center for Human Movement Sciences of the University of Groningen and the UMCG.
The Center for Human Movement Sciences Groningen was established over 25 years ago. Nowadays it has a 5-year bachelor-master program in Human Movement Sciences and a master program in Sports Sciences for an odd 600 students including over 30 PhD students. In September 2013 also a Master-PhD program was initiated. Concerning research the Center for Human Movement Sciences has three specializations; healthy aging, sport sciences and rehabilitation, each having a strong position in a multidisciplinary area in terms of expertise, multidisciplinary collaboration and knowledge dissemination.