HeadHealthTECH Challenges: Continuing to stimulate innovation in protective equipment designed to advance player safety
The National Football League (NFL) and Football Research, Inc. (FRI) partnered with Duke University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Duke CTSI) to create the HeadHealthTECH Challenges—an ongoing series of innovation challenges designed to stimulate research and innovation in protective equipment, including helmets and related technologies, turf systems, shoulder and other pads, and additional innovative concepts.
To date, the TECH Challenges have awarded more than $1,340,000 in grants to help advance the development of 11 new technologies. Congratulations to the recently announced TECH Challenge IV winners (read the press release here):
- FieldTurf Inc. (Montreal, Canada)
- Corsair Innovations, Inc. (Plymouth, Massachusetts)
- Yobel Technologies, LLC (Starkville, Mississippi)
Ready to disrupt the marketplace and be the next TECH Challenge winner?
HeadHealthTECH Challenge VI is an opportunity to showcase your thinking, solutions and novel approaches to improve protective equipment—and to join a community of experts and innovators committed to driving progress through collaboration and mentorship. Each year, up to three TECH Challenges connect scientists, academics and entrepreneurs with biomechanical engineering experts, mentors and venture capitalists. Funding from a total award pool of up to $1 million USD per year, including in-kind support, is available to further advance proposed technologies. Every TECH Challenge applicant receives constructive feedback from Duke CTSI biomechanical experts to help refine innovations and increase chances for success on future submissions.
We invite you to submit your concept in TECH Challenge VI by September 13, 2018.
Ready to disrupt?
The Engineering Roadmap
The HeadHealthTECH Challenge series is one component of the Play Smart. Play Safe. Engineering Roadmap, a $60-million comprehensive effort—funded by the NFL and managed by FRI—to improve the understanding of the biomechanics of head injuries in professional football and to create incentives for helmet manufacturers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, universities and others to develop and commercialize new and improved protective equipment, including helmets.
Elevate Your Entry: New engineering resources for football helmet design
As part of the Engineering Roadmap, FRI continues to share research, data, tools, and information to crowdsource and stimulate innovation in protective equipment. In May, FRI released an open-source toolkit including finite element models of modern football helmets, impact test dummy components, and test conditions simulating on-field impacts. The finite element models are now available to the public as a platform and baseline resource for injury prevention research and to stimulate the development of novel and highly effective helmet designs and prototypes. Leading biomechanical engineers have also completed a comprehensive video review of player impacts to better understand concussion-causing events. The toolkit and the video review data are available for engineers and entrepreneurs to help improve equipment designs.
See Official Rules for details. TECH Challenge VI opens July 12, 2018. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on September 13, 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.