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.
November 13-15, 2019
Symposium in Youngstown, OH — Kickoff of the challenge
March 31, 2020
HeadHealthTECH Challenge grant submission deadline
Over $1.3 million total in HeadHealthTECH Challenge grants awarded
June 14, 2021
Helmet Challenge submission deadline
July 14, 2021
Helmet prototype submissions due