More than 450 proposals from 19 countries were submitted to Head Health Challenge II, the NFL, Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and GE (NYSE: GE) announced today. The challenge will award up to $10 million for new innovations and materials that can protect the brain from traumatic injury and for new tools for tracking head impacts in real time. The challenge is part of the Head Health Initiative, a collaboration to help speed diagnosis, improve treatment and protect against brain injury.
According to site manager NineSigma, between September 2013 and February 11, 2014, when the challenge closed, more than 40,000 people from 110 countries visited www.headhealthchallenge.com. The submissions will now be evaluated by a panel of external judges that include leading experts in brain research and engineering solutions for training and protocols. Winners will be announced at a later date.
Specific focus areas for Head Health Challenge II include:
- Potential to improve the prevention and identification of brain injuries
- Monitoring and identifying injury
- Protection against injury or its consequences
“The response to this challenge demonstrates the global interest in brain protection,” said Jeff Miller, NFL Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Policy. “The number of great scientific minds committed to protecting the brain provides hope that we will see great innovations that have the potential to protect athletes in all sports at all levels. We are proud to work with innovative partners like GE and Under Armour to help advance science.”
“Striving to make the field of play safe across all sports is a world-wide mission, which has been demonstrated by the global response to the Head Health Challenge II,” said Kevin Haley, SVP Innovation, Under Armour. “We are committed to this cause and look forward to working hand-in-hand with the NFL and GE, reviewing the submissions and finding those innovations that can have a positive effect on all sports and help protect athletes at every level.”
The Head Health Initiative is an innovative four-year, $60 million collaboration to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury. The goal of the program, guided by healthcare experts, is to improve the safety of athletes, members of the military and society overall. The initiative includes a four-year, $40 million research and development program from the NFL and GE to evaluate and develop next generation imaging technologies to improve diagnosis that would allow for targeting treatment therapy for patients with mild traumatic brain injury. In addition the NFL, Under Armour and GE launched two open innovation challenges to invest up to $20 million in research and technology development to better understand, diagnose and protect against brain injury.
The first challenge launched in March and closed in July with more than 400 submissions from more than 25 countries.