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About the NFL Helmet Challenge

The NFL Helmet Challenge is an innovation challenge that aims to stimulate the development by experts, innovators and helmet manufacturers of a new helmet for NFL players that outperforms, based on laboratory testing, all helmet models currently worn by NFL players.

The challenge will culminate in July 2021 with the applicants submitting helmet prototypes for testing in laboratory conditions that represent potentially concussive impacts in the NFL. Applicants will compete for up to a $1 million award.

This challenge is the next phase in the league's Engineering Roadmap, which aims to improve the understanding of football biomechanics and to create incentives for small businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and helmet manufacturers to develop new protective equipment.

A kickoff symposium was held in November 2019 to facilitate resource-sharing and collaboration. Full videos of all symposium sessions are available here. The NFL also awarded over $1.3 million in HeadHealthTECH Challenge grant funding in June 2020 to support teams of innovators in the creation of their helmet prototypes.

Other resources available to applicants include those developed through the Engineering Roadmap, such as NFL video review data and finite element models of modern football helmets.



November 13-15, 2019

Symposium in Youngstown, OH — Kickoff of the challenge

March 31, 2020

HeadHealthTECH Challenge grant submission deadline

June 2020

Over $1.3 million total in HeadHealthTECH Challenge grants awarded

June 14, 2021

Helmet Challenge submission deadline

July 14, 2021

Helmet prototype submissions due