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Innovation & Technologie Angebot

Protective headgear reacts to blunt trauma by triggering an interior cooling system, to reduce brain injury, as well as GPS alert

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Reference Number: TOUK20160112001
Publication Date: 25 August 2017

Summary

A UK inventor has developed a patented device modelled inside any protective headgear that automatically reacts to major blunt trauma by triggering a strongly endothermic (cooling) response. The device reduces brain swelling in the event of an accident and has a wide range of applications. They are seeking motorcycle, sports (equine, snow), military, paramedic or healthcare companies to co-develop the innovation to new applications via joint ventures, manufacturing or licensing agreements.

Description

Head injuries occur in 80% of all motorcycle accident fatalities. A key contributor is brain swelling inside the helmet and the response time to address the issue. A standard motorcycle helmet has polystyrene, which acts as an energy absorber but also as an insulator. When an accident takes place and the brain swells, the heat is kept trapped inside the helmet, causing further swelling and increasing the chance of brain injury.

The UK inventor's innovation directly addresses this problem by cooling the rider's head post-accident. The active technology works by triggering an endothermic chemical reaction inside the helmet lining at the moment of impact. The helmet immediately cools the motorcyclist's head, keeping it cold even before the emergency services could have been called.

The technology has been fitted to high quality existing motorcycle helmets that have passed stringent safety tests and has been patented in 19 countries globally. The device is patented for 'any protected headgear' so has a range of applications beyond sporting helmets for instance. The helmet weighs 1.5kg which is optimal (shell 1kg plus thermal pack weighs 0.5kg). In order to match this optimum weight using carbon fibre, competitor’s helmets would require padding with potentially unsafe ballast. To date they have not been able to solve this problem. The device also has ECE2205 impact testing certification.

While currently designed and fitted to motorcycle helmets, the company is seeking company partners in other sectors which might benefit from this technology and be interested in adapting this to their respective headgear. These sectors include, but are not limited to, the military, disability support/medical devices, paramedic/hospital, skiing, equine, car racing and other sportswear providers.

The company has also developed two complementary technologies - a docking station that dries and sanitises all types of helmet, and
- an integral GPS tracking/communications system suitable for use across a range of helmet types and vehicles that is triggered on impact.

They are hoping to take the device to new markets via co-development in joint venture and manufacturing agreements. Manufacturing agreements would entail a company producing the helmets from existing specifications while joint venture agreements would entail working with the inventor to co-develop a new application for the helmet. They are also seeking licensing agreements from companies willing to adopt and adapt the technology to novel applications.
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Advantages and Innovations

• The technology represents the first fundamental change in headgear protection in the last 50 years, with all previous designs using passive technology serving only to protect the head through the use of appropriate materials, which repel or cushion impacts.
• The device has a carbon fibre and Kevlar shell positioning it in the premium helmet category. This has been tested and shown to be one of the strongest helmets available as well as having a recent design based on a Shoei leading premium helmet to fit the need for a recognised helmet.
• The design of a new helmet has also allowed the innovation of adding a visor locking system, which has long been seen as a weakness of most currently available helmets.
• The helmet can include an emergency beacon transmitter and an ionising cleaning station that cleans, dehumidifies and deodorises the helmet.

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Requested partner

- Type of partner sought: Industry, hospital or military

- Specific area of activity of the partner: Manufacturer or developer of innovative safety equipment or sports gear (sectors including paramedic and hospital, domestic first aid, military projects, equine and snow sports). This could include the production or development of any type of protective headgear.

- Task to be performed by the partner sought: Co-development of the innovation to a new application, via joint venture or manufacturing agreement, or licensing agreement, for companies that want to adapt the technology to new uses.

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