In a quest for a safer helmet, the NFL is starting a $3 million program aimed at the development of new headgear that outperforms anything currently available.
Manufacturers, engineers and entrepreneurs all are welcome to submit prototypes in the NFL Helmet Challenge, with the goal of reducing head trauma.
The league will provide $2 million in grant funding to support development, with as much as $1 million awarded for a prototype that would be used to help reduce concussions.
“Helmet technology is advancing at an impressive rate. Yet we believe that even more is possible,” said Jeff Miller, the NFL’s executive vice president for health and safety, in a news release. “The NFL Helmet Challenge represents an unprecedented combination of financing, research, data and engineering expertise in an effort to create a more protective helmet.”
The NFL Helmet Challenge will culminate in May 2021. Participants will have access to the NFL’s video review data on helmet safety as well as models of modern football helmets.
“Innovation can be catalyzed if we engage with creative and talented people from across disciplines to attack this challenge together,” Miller said. “In collaboration with the NFL Players Association, we are making changes on and off the field in an effort to improve protection for every player. Trying to ensure that players wear the best possible helmet is a substantial part of that commitment.”
—Field Level Media