The National Football League (NFL) and Football Research, Inc. (FRI) announced the winners of the HeadHealthTECH Challenge IV, the latest in the TECH Challenge series, which is operated on behalf of FRI by Duke University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (Duke CTSI). The TECH Challenge series is designed to stimulate research and innovation in protective equipment, including helmets and related technologies, turf systems, shoulder and other pads and additional innovative concepts.
TECH Challenge IV Winners
- FieldTurf Inc. – Montreal, Canada – received a grant of $195,000 to develop technology for an all-new sports surface designed to reduce impact while providing optimal playability when exposed to standard play.
- Corsair Innovations, Inc. – Plymouth, MA – received a grant of $168,504 to continue to test its FEAM material, an impact attenuation system for helmets. Corsair will work with one or more helmet manufacturers to guide development and testing of an improved helmet system. Corsair Innovations was awarded $250,000 as part of the NFL-GE Head Health Challenge in 2015 to support the initial development of its FEAM material.
- Yobel Technologies, LLC – Starkville, MI – a Mississippi State University start-up company received a grant of $20,000 to support testing of its optimized, lightweight, energy-absorbent prototyped faceguard that is designed to fit onto existing commercial helmets.
“TECH Challenge winners continue to demonstrate promising new technologies that are disrupting the marketplace,” said Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of health and safety initiatives. “We are excited to support these entrepreneurs as they continue to develop their novel designs, and we encourage all innovators to enter the next TECH Challenge.”
The NFL and FRI also announced the opening of the submission window for TECH Challenge VI through September 13, 2018.
“Our tem at Duke CTSI appreciates the opportunity to work closely with the talented award winners,” said Barry Myers, MD, PhD, MBA, Director of Innovation at Duke CTSI, Coulter Program Director and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University and a consultant to the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). “We continue to receive exciting, innovative and pioneering proposals, and we look forward to seeing the next wave of new designs.”