PITTSBURGH–2nd Skull®, manufacturer of a patented protective skull cap that fits under helmets to improve safety and mitigate the impact of blows to the head during football play, announced today it is one of three winners of the National Football League (NFL) and Football Research Inc. (FRI) HeadHealth TECH Challenge II.
The Challenge, started in 2016, invited proposals from manufacturers, small businesses and entrepreneurs to submit innovative and protective technologies that support the NFL’s and FRI’s goal of advanced player safety. The HeadHealth TECH Challenge II is operated and managed on behalf of FRI by Duke University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. FRI awards the most promising TECH Challenge II proposals with funding and in-kind support. 2nd Skull is one of three award winners out of 85 proposals received for this Challenge. 2nd Skull received a $100,000 grant from the NFL to enhance and improve the skull cap in both wearability and performance. Today, the skull cap reduces both linear and rotational impacts, when worn under football and other athletic helmets.
“The NFL and FRI have shown tremendous vision and concern for the health and safety of its players. 2nd Skull is honored to have been chosen to be a recipient of the NFL HeadHealth TECH Challenge II award. Our goal has always been to provide the greatest protection to all athletes, and become the ultimate safeguard for the NFL and any athlete playing sports,” said 2nd Skull CEO Vaughan Blaxter.
Manufactured in the U.S., the skull cap is a compressive, antimicrobial cap with an extra thin layer of XRD® Technology, an extreme energy absorbing material. This material is made with special urethane molecules that are soft and flexible at rest and then momentarily harden under sudden pressure. 2nd Skull has conducted biomechanical testing at independent labs in North America and the United Kingdom that has shown the skull cap reduces both rotational and linear impact when worn under football and other athletic helmets.
“We are looking at the safety needs of every athlete, and testing the skull cap to provide the greatest customized protection,” said Michael Oh, M.D., associate professor of Neurosurgery at Drexel University and medical advisor to the company. “With this funding from the NFL, we will be able to gather additional impact data and optimize 2nd Skull cap materials.”