BALTIMORE (AP) — The NFL, Under Armour and GE have together issued a challenge for new engineering to help protect athletes from brain injury.
The group said Wednesday that it would award up to $10 million for new innovation and materials that could protect the brain from traumatic injury, as well as new tools for tracking head impacts in real time. It is the second of such challenges from the trio.
The move comes as the issue of concussions in football has taken center stage.
The NFL recently reached a $765 million settlement with former players, some suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and depression, to settle claims that the league concealed the long-term dangers of concussions and rushed injured players back to the field.
The league’s litigation may still not be over. Four former players filed a federal lawsuit in New Orleans on Sunday against the league and helmet maker Riddell, claiming they hid information about the dangers of brain injury. They want medical care for past, current and future NFL players.
The Institute of Medicine also launched an effort at the beginning of the year to closely study the impact of sports-related concussion in young people.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the effort with GE and Under Armour provides an example of the collective effort to make sports better and safer, particularly for young athletes.
The challenge is part of the Head Health Initiative, a multiyear collaboration among the NFL, GE and others, to improve the safety of athletes, members of the military and society.
The winners of the challenge will be selected by a panel of external judges, including experts in brain research and engineering.
For more information:
Entries are being immediately accepted at http://www.headhealthchallenge.com.