Challenge III winners are developing new materials to reduce head impact forces on sports professionals, military members, and others who wear protective gear.

Head Health Challenge III Winners Named

This open competition was launched to encourage the development of advanced materials for absorbing or dissipating impact that can be used in protective gear, playing surfaces, and equipment for athletes, members of the military, and others. Each winning team gets $250,000 to advance their work in developing state-of-the-art materials.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, along with the National Football League, GE, and Under Armour, announced the five winners of Head Health Challenge III on Dec. 15. This open competition was launched to encourage the development of advanced materials for absorbing or dissipating impact that can be used in protective gear, playing surfaces, and equipment for athletes, members of the military, and others. Each winning team gets $250,000 to advance their work in developing state-of-the-art materials; an expert panel selected them from 125 entries because they met the challenge's technical criteria to maximize energy absorption and minimize momentum transfer.

An overall Head Health Challenge III winner will be selected from the five and will receive a $500,000 grand prize.

"The innovations in material science that we've seen in this challenge will have significant applications in a range of equipment that will better protect our athletes, soldiers, children, and others," said Jeff Miller, the NFL's senior vice president of Health and Safety Policy.

"The winning materials show a great deal of ingenuity in their approaches to energy absorption and have the potential to improve the next generation of protective systems," said NIST Director Willie E. May. "Our NIST experts are looking forward to working with the winning research teams as they further develop their innovative materials."

The five winners are:

  • Alba Technic, LLC (Winthrop, Maine), for a patented, shock-absorbent honeycomb material with an outer layer that diverts the energy from a fall or hit. The material is normally soft and compliant, but on impact, the outer layer changes to a hard shell to spread the energy and protect the user.
  • Charles Owen Inc. (Lincolnton, Ga.), which made cellular structures that use a stacked, origami-like design to optimize energy absorption.
  • Corsair Innovations (Plymouth, Mass.), for a textile that uses spring-like fibers to repel rotational and linear impacts. Ite is washable, breathable, wicks sweat and can be easily engineered to meet impact performance requirements, according to NIST's announcement.
  • Dynamic Research Inc. (Torrance, Calif.) and 6D Helmets LLC, which are collaborating to evolve 6D's single-impact suspension technology for use in repeated impact conditions.
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) researchers who designed a lightweight, multi-layered composite that includes a viscoelastic material.

Head Health Challenge III is part of the larger Head Health Initiative, a four-year, $60 million collaboration between GE and the NFL, and is one of three open innovation challenges to invest up to $20 million in research and technology development to better understand, identify, and protect against brain injury.

According to NIST, the Head Health Challenge III collaboration helps implement a pledge by NIST and the Department of Commerce to invest resources to accelerate the development of materials that can protect against concussions, a pledge that was made at the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit in May 2014. For more information, visit this website.

"I'm encouraged to see the progress from our collaboration with NIST. The goal of convening the brightest engineers, scientists, and inventors was to advance and produce better materials for preventing injury, better tools for physicians, and better treatments for patients. Based on what we've seen from these five winners, we are moving in a positive direction," said Alan Gilbert, GE's director of healthymagination.

Download Center

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Incident Investigations Guide

    If your organization has experienced an incident resulting in a fatality, injury, illness, environmental exposure, property damage, or even a quality issue, it’s important to perform an incident investigation to determine how this happened and learn what you can do to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of performing an incident investigation.

  • Lone Worker Guide

    Lone workers exist in every industry and include individuals such as contractors, self-employed people, and those who work off-site or outside normal hours. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies, inadequate rest and breaks, physical violence, and more. To learn more about lone worker risks and solutions, download this informative guide.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Download the guide to learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • The Basics of Incident Investigations Webinar

    Without a proper incident investigation, it becomes difficult to take preventative measures and implement corrective actions. Watch this on-demand webinar for a step-by-step process of a basic incident investigation, how to document your incident investigation findings and analyze incident data, and more. 

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2022

    November December 2022

    Featuring:

    • IH: GAS DETECTION
      The Evolution of Gas Detection
    • OSHA TOP 10
      OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2022
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Enhance Your Fall Protection Program with Technology
    • 90TH ANNIVERSARY
      The Future: How Safety WIll Continue to Evolve
    View This Issue