HeadHealthTECH Challenge IV open through January 10, 2018

Funding opportunity from NFL, FRI, and CTSI

October 31, 2017

The 2017 NFL season is in full swing—our favorite teams and players are competing for a chance to make it to the Super Bowl. Whether in practice or on game day, we want to do everything we can to improve the health and safety of these incredible players. That’s why the NFL is committed to championing new developments in engineering, biomechanics and material science that better protect against injuries. In order to advance this effort, the league is collaborating with the NFL Players Association, bringing in the world’s foremost biomechanical engineers and material scientists as advisors, and looking to innovators in the scientific community for the best ideas.

Welcome to the HeadHealthTECH Challenge Series:

The National Football League (NFL) and Football Research, Inc. (FRI) have partnered with Duke University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Duke CTSI) to create the HeadHealthTECH Challenges—an ongoing series of innovation challenges intended to deepen understanding and advance solutions in the areas of head protection, materials science, and head kinematics, among others. Multiple TECH Challenges each year are structured to stimulate research and innovation, and to create an intellectual forum to connect innovators with engineering experts, mentors and venture capitalists.

Be a groundbreaker and help improve player health and safety.

The NFL, FRI and Duke CTSI need your help to develop next-generation solutions and ground-breaking technology designed to improve player health and safety. The TECH Challenge series is one component of the NFL’s Engineering Roadmap—a dedicated and comprehensive plan funded by the NFL and managed by FRI to create incentives for innovators around the world to develop new and improved helmets and protective equipment. Learn more about the initiative here.

What’s in it for you?

This is an opportunity to showcase your thinking, solutions and novel approaches to improving protective equipment—and to join a community of experts and innovators passionate about safety in sports. Winners will be eligible to receive funding from a total award pool of up to $1 million USD per year to further advance their proposed technology. Every TECH Challenge applicant also receives constructive feedback and mentoring from Duke CTSI biomechanical and biomedical engineering experts to help refine innovations and increase their chances for success on future submissions.

Think you’ve got a game-changing idea?  Submit a proposal.

We invite you to help pave the way to enhanced protective equipment. Submit your concept in TECH Challenge IV by January 10, 2018. The following types of proposals are encouraged:

  • Improvements in helmet and/or the surfaces that helmets contact (e.g., turf, grass, other helmets, opponent padding, including shoulders, etc.);
  • Ready-to-deploy material advances;
  • Studies that define the range of exposures (e.g., location, speed of impact, frequency of impact) that can be used to improve test protocols for helmet development; and,
  • Studies that elucidate the optimal stress strain properties of helmet materials.



To learn more about TECH Challenge IV, please visit: www.playsmartplaysafe.com/headhealthTECH

See Official Rules for details. TECH Challenge IV opens October 20, 2017.  Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on January 10, 2018. Proposals will be accepted from both public and private organizations.  All proposals must be able to articulate a path by which they will successfully impact football player health and safety.