SKYDEX Technologies Outperforms Competitors In First Phase of Federal Grant Program
Company on the path to receiving up to $750,000 in second phase funding for development of more protective aviator helmet
DENVER - Dec. 12, 2003 -- SKYDEX Technologies was invited to apply for Phase II of a development project in the United States Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This achievement reflects the strength of the company’s Phase I development efforts, which demonstrated that patented SKYDEX technology could dramatically improve the impact protection of naval aviator helmets.
The SBIR program is designed to strengthen the role of innovative small businesses in federally-funded research and development. It follows a competitive three-phase process, awarding funds in each phase for research and development to meet specified needs. SKYDEX received a Phase I grant of $70,000 and is likely to receive up to $750,000 for continued development in Phase II.
SKYDEX materials absorb impact through compression of opposed hemispheres formed from durable elastic polymers. It is proven to offer far more effective impact protection, and in less space, than traditional cushioning materials like foam or rubber. In addition, it can be custom engineered to provide maximum shock absorption at the most critical impact points.
SKYDEX was invited to apply for Phase II of the SBIR project after outperforming the two other Phase I companies they were competing against, which used specialized foams to absorb impact.
“SKYDEX materials did substantially better than foam in terms of impact scores, while maintaining the same thickness, reducing weight and dramatically improving comfort,” said Michael Buchen, chief executive officer of SKYDEX. “We have a remarkable technology, and these results provide further evidence of its broad potential in protective applications.”
During Phase I of the SBIR project, SKYDEX engineered a liner to fit the specified aviator helmet. The company performed impact testing to determine what material would perform optimally in the helmet, and to identify its most critical impact points. The company then demonstrated how the liner could be tuned to increase protection where it is most needed, by varying geometric structures at specific points. In initial testing, the SKYDEX liner showed a significant improvement in protective capabilities over the current Styrofoam liner.
In addition to enhancing impact protection, SKYDEX materials allow for improved airflow to the wearer’s head, dramatically increasing comfort. SKYDEX conducted biomechanical tests to evaluate airflow within the helmet, and to understand the effect of improved airflow on comfort.
About the U.S. Navy SBIR Program
The purpose of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program is to strengthen the role of innovative small business concerns in federally-funded research and development. The program follows a uniform competitive process of three phases that involve proposal solicitations and funding agreements for research and development to meet stated agency needs. For more information visit www.navysbir.com.
About SKYDEX Technologies, Inc.
SKYDEX™ shock absorbing technology is redefining cushioning and protective capabilities in a wide variety of products, from helmets and running shoes to stadium outfield walls. SKYDEX materials have been proven to outperform and significantly outlast foams, gels and other products. Patented SKYDEX technology combines high performance polymers with proprietary geometry for superior cushioning power, and the technology can be endlessly customized for specific applications. Slated to become a household name in cushioning and impact protection, SKYDEX technology is used by some of the world’s most innovative consumer brands, including Schutt, Nike, and Burton, as well as by the U.S. Military. SKYDEX Technologies, Inc. is a privately held company based in Centennial, Colo. For more information visit www.skydex.com.