Themes

Technology to Improve Athletic Performance

New innovations that leverage the use of data or immersive technology to advance athlete health and performance.

Objective:

To identify new technologies that will advance athlete health and performance at any level – from youth to amateur to professional athletes, specifically:

  • Products and applications which utilize Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) technology
  • New technologies which will further enhance the ability to collect, analyze and distribute a wide range of biometric data

Advancements in Protective Equipment

Developments in football helmet technology to better protect athletes.

Background

In 2016, the NFL created and funded a five-year project called the Engineering Roadmap ― a comprehensive effort to improve the understanding of the biomechanics of head injuries in professional football.

As part of this initiative, biomechanical engineers completed a comprehensive video review of all 459 reported concussions sustained in NFL games during the 2015 and 2016 seasons to better understand concussion-causing impacts.

The results of this review identify potential opportunities to expand testing and evaluation of helmets, as well as potential injury countermeasure opportunities based on the prevalence of injury source and impact location. For example, this review found that nearly 40% of concussions sustained by NFL quarterbacks occurred when the rear of the player’s helmet impacted the ground.

Objective:

To identify innovations in football helmet technology, including but not limited to:

  • Quarterback-specific helmet innovations that consider the following impact specifications
  • New materials and innovations to better absorb or mitigate force

New Therapies to Speed Recovery

Innovative therapies to restore the athlete to be at their best. Game-changing sports medicine advances in regenerative medicine, medical devices, and digital therapies to heal the athlete and shorten the road to recovery.

Background

When injuries occur, athletes and care providers look to new therapies to decrease recovery times and ensure safe return to play.

Objective:

To identify new technologies to improve care and accelerate recovery including, but not limited to:

  • Therapeutic cells and cell derived products that harness the power of the body’s ability to heal itself, to repair damaged tissues, reduce pain and inflammation, and restore function after an injury
  • The next generation of arthroscopic, fracture and ligament repair, and prosthetic devices that offer improved safety and efficacy compared with current standards of care
  • Digital therapies, from digitized cognitive assessment tests to in-home physical therapies, that can serve as alternatives or augment traditional therapies, to accelerate an athlete’s recovery

*Submissions should not include substances that are in violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.