- Focus area:
Creation of a physical helmet prototype
Multiple awards with a cumulative value of up to $2 million
- Response Due Date:
January 23, 2020
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, a series of innovation challenges intended to deepen understanding of and advance solutions in the areas of head protection, materials science and kinematic measurement, among others. The TECH Challenges are structured to stimulate research and innovation, as well as encourage connections with mentors and/or venture capitalists, with a goal of spurring developments in engineering, biomechanics, advanced sensors and material science.
As part of its Play Smart. Play Safe. initiative announced in September 2016, the NFL pledged $60 million toward the creation and funding of a five-year plan called the Engineering Roadmap that will be managed by FRI, a nonprofit corporation formed and financially supported by the NFL. The Engineering Roadmap is a dedicated and comprehensive plan to create incentives for helmet companies, manufacturers, small businesses, entrepreneurs, universities and others from around the world to develop new and improved helmets and protective equipment over the next three to five years.
Through six TECH Challenges the NFL and FRI have awarded more than $1.6 million in grants to help advance the development of 13 new technologies. The next round of grant funding will support the NFL Helmet Challenge and will provide resources to advance applicants’ creation of a physical helmet prototype for laboratory testing. Awards will be made in March 2020.
A panel of expert judges selected by Duke CTSI, in collaboration with FRI, will evaluate all proposals. Funding will be awarded by FRI. Duke CTSI will work closely with funding recipients to develop and mature their ideas. All individuals or institutions submitting proposals will retain ownership over their ideas at all times.