NFL, Under Armour and GE Seek Ideas to Accelerate Concussion Research,
Prevention, Diagnosis & Treatment
Launch up to $10 Million Open Innovation Challenge to find and fund new
solutions to enhance protection against brain injury
Second Challenge in Head Health Initiative, a collaboration to help speed
diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury
BALTIMORE, Sept. 4, 2013
BALTIMORE, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The NFL, Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and
GE (NYSE:GE) today launched Head Health Challenge II an open innovation
challenge to 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 and improve treatment for
mild traumatic brain injury.
Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO of Under Armour said: "As longstanding partners
of the NFL and in collaboration with GE, we take great pride in our
participation in the Head Health Challenge II. We are excited to harness the
power of innovation and assemble the best minds in the world towards an effort
to make the field of play safer across all sports and for all athletes."
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: "We are very pleased to have Under Armour
join our work with GE to help accelerate progress and find better ways to
protect the brain from injury. This is a perfect example of our shared
commitment to making the culture of sports better and safer – especially for
Entries are being immediately accepted at www.headhealthchallenge.com. The
deadline to submit entries is January 30, 2014. In September 2014 up to 10
winners will be selected for the chance to receive as much as $500,000 each.
Up to five of the potential 10 finalists will be eligible to receive as much
as $1,000,000 after the second phase of judging concludes. Please visit
for Terms and Conditions.
Specific focus areas for Head Health Challenge II include:
I. Potential to Improve the Prevention and Identification of Brain Injuries
* Technology that demonstrates clear potential to quantify head impact in real
time; detect, track or monitor biologic or physiological indicators of
traumatic brain injury; protect the brain from traumatic injury; mitigate or
prevent short or long-term consequences of brain trauma; assist in training to
prevent traumatic brain injury.
II. Monitoring and Identifying Injury
* Technology that include, but are not limited to the following:
* Monitoring and integration of directional and rotational impact force
* Systems that monitor biomechanical and physiological responses to
detect injury and quantify head impact exposures.
* Systems to efficiently collect, interpret and organize large quantities
of real-time data.
III. Protection against Injury or its Consequences
* Materials or devices that can absorb, distribute and/or dissipate the force
of impact. These include smart or active materials.
* Polymers that are comfortable, but can adapt to sudden impacts.
* Equipment that reduces the force of direct impact transmitted to the brain.
* Equipment to control axial rotation of the head.
* Novel uniforms and protective padding equipment to dissipate excessive
* Improve effective mass by linking the head and neck as a total system to
reduce head acceleration and minimize the mechanical effect on the brain.
* Sensors that provide biofeedback to modify behaviors that predispose
athletes to injury or its consequences.
* Improved training methods that reduce tissue and brain damage such as:
* Novel conditioning regimes.
* Neck isolation and strengthening protocols.
Sue Siegel, CEO of GE Business Innovations, said, "GE is investing to speed up
the study of head health. Through this challenge, we hope to stimulate the
broader ecosystem of scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators
worldwide to bring their talents to this effort and accelerate the current
understanding of brain trauma."
The winners of the challenges will be selected by a panel of external judges
that include leading experts in brain research and engineering solutions for
training and protocols. For Head Health Challenge II, these individuals are:
Kenneth M. Ford, PhD: Founder and CEO, Institute for Human and Machine
Gerard Gioia, PhD: Division Chief of Neuropsychology at Children's National
Kevin M. Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC: Kenan Distinguished Professor, Co-Director of
the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research and Director
of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes in the Department of Exercise
and Sport Science at The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Colonel Dallas Hack, MD: Director of the Combat Casualty Research Program and
the Chair, Joint Program Committee 6 (Combat Casualty Care), U.S. Army Medical
Research and Materiel Command, Ft. Detrick, MD
Stuart Hoffman, PhD: Scientific Program Manager for the Brain Injury
Portfolio, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
David Hovda, PhD: Professor and Vice Chairman of Research Affairs for the
Department of Neurosurgery and Director of the Brain Injury Research Center,
University of California, Los Angeles
David Meaney, PhD: Associate Director at Penn Center for Brain Injury and
Repair and Solomon R. Pollack Professor and Chair, Department of
Joseph F. Waeckerle, MD FACEP: Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine,
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
The Head Health Initiative is a 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 and will invest up to
$10 million in technologies and imaging biomarkers that address identification
and management of subclinical and mild traumatic brain injury. Winners of the
first challenge will be announced later this year.
About Under Armour, Inc.
Under Armour® (NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of
branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The Company's products
are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to
professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global
headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland. For further information, please visit
the Company's website at www.ua.com.
About The National Football League
Throughout its history, the NFL has made the health and safety of its players
a priority. This commitment extends to football played at all ages, as well
as other sports. At the youth level, the NFL's partnership with the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention and the league's support for USA Football,
including the Heads Up Football initiative, helps parents, coaches, clinicians
and athletes understand the signs and symptoms of head injuries. The league
has successfully advocated for the passage of youth concussion laws in 49
states thus far. Through funding for medical studies, including a $30 million
grant to the National Institutes of Health for medical research; collaboration
with the military on research and recognizing and reporting potential head
injuries; and the work of the NFL's medical committees, the NFL is committed
to supporting and advancing science that will have an impact beyond football.
With a continued emphasis on improved equipment, rules changes, and in-game
policies, the NFL fosters a culture that promotes health and safety at every
level of the game.
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best
technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy,
health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and
helping to cure the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more
information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
SOURCE Under Armour
Contact: Diane Pelkey, Under Armour, Inc., 410-246-5927,
email@example.com; or Brian McCarthy, NFL, 212-450-2069,
Brian.firstname.lastname@example.org; or Megan Parker,GE, 646-682-5605, Megan.email@example.com
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.