The National Football League, General Electric (NYSE: GE ) , and Under Armour (NYSE: UA ) announced today they have launched Head Health Challenge II, their sophomore effort to foster innovation and competition to create new material that can protect brains from traumatic injuries and new tools for tracking impacts to the head in real time.
The total awards will be given out in September 2014 and could reach $10 million. Up to 10 winners will be selected to receive as much as $500,000 each, with a potential $1 million award following a second round of judging.
This effort is an additional part of the Head Health Initiative, which aims to speed identification and diagnosis while also improving treatment for mild traumatic brain injury such as concussions sustained in football. This effort began in March of this year, when GE and the NFL teamed together in a $60 million partnership aimed to "develop and improve concussion-detecting imaging technology for the benefit of athletes, members of the military, and society overall."
The group identified four focus areas for the second leg of the Head Health Challenge, which included potential to improve the prevention and identification of brain injuries, monitoring and identifying injury, protection against injury or its consequences, and training. GE Business Innovations CEO Sue Siegel said, "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."
This announcement comes less than one week after the NFL agreed to settle a lawsuit with thousands of former players for $765 million that accused the league of hiding the dangers of traumatic brain injuries, which the Head Health Challenge II aims to prevent.