GE and the National Football League (NFL) announced the winners of its $10M “Head Health Challenge.” The sixteen award winners of the first stage will each receive a $300,000 award to advance their work.
The award winners— selected from more than 400 entries from 27 countries–now advance to the next stage of the challenge and have the potential to speed diagnosis and improve treatment for mild traumatic brain injury.
The winners represent the most innovative breakthrough concepts in the field, and include a blood test to measure brain injury and a new brain imaging technique to help identify connections broken in the brain after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). By helping these researchers and entrepreneurs with their innovative proposals, GE and the NFL hope to help improve the safety of athletes, members of the military and society overall.
As these innovations continue to be developed, they could advance research and technology to eventually better understand, diagnose and protect against mild TBI.
In addition to the $300,000 award, GE and the NFL will provide mentorship and access to GE researchers and industry thought leaders with the opportunity for up to six of the awardees to win an additional $500,000 award in 2015.
Launched in March 2013, the challenge is part of the Head Health Initiative – a four-year, $60 million collaboration that includes a four-year, $40 million research and development program from the NFL and GE to evaluate and develop next-generation imaging technologies to improve diagnosis.
“We launched this Challenge as a call to action to fast-track advancement in head health,” said Sue Siegel, CEO of GE Ventures & healthymagination.
“The Challenge has shown us a remarkable number of breakthrough ideas that deserve attention, investment and further research. By advancing these researchers work, we will better understand brain injuries suffered by athletes and members of the military and improve our current understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Approximately 1.6 – 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related TBIs occur in the United States each year. Most of these are mTBIs that are not treated in a hospital or emergency department.*
GE Healthcare has a long history of working with partners to access the most innovative ideas to meet critical needs.
Additionally, as part of the Head Health Initiative, GE and the NFL have launched two open innovation challenges to invest up to $20 million in research and technology development to better understand, diagnose and protect against brain injury.
Under Armour is a partner in one of these two challenges that will award up to $10M for new innovations and materials that can protect the brain from traumatic injury and for new tools for tracking head impacts in real time.
This challenge is currently open and entries are welcome through till January 30th, 2014. For additional details on this challenge and to view the full terms and conditions visit http://www.nflgebrainchallenge.com.
For the complete list of winners click here