Italy-Austria meeting at Dolomiticert

Aim: to agree the next steps for the "safe-a-head" project

Planning actions through 2013 and verifying the work done to date were the two main subjects discussed at the 2nd meeting of Interreg SAFE-A-HEAD partners held at Dolomiticert, Longarone.

The important research, the full title of which is "The development of a new and innovative helmet and goggles to increase safety/use in sports", is a project on which lead partner, Dolomiticert, the Department of Interdisciplinary Sports and Motor Sciences at the University of Salzburg, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Padua, will work in synergy: these three entities will hold several coordination meetings for the seamless accomplishment of this ambitious research.

As the title indicates, the main aim of the project is to increase helmet use by replacing current models that are uncomfortable and cumbersome with a type that is lightweight, smaller, interdisciplinary and ergonomic. The helmet will also be able to house technologically-advanced systems such as avalanche transceivers, biosensors or walkie-talkie-type communication with satellite identification systems that will locate the athlete in the event of an avalanche, disorientation or sudden indisposition. In addition to this, the experts will also study new "active" ski goggles that will adapt quickly to weather conditions.

The planning that was the subject of the 2nd meeting is based on the different steps to be taken by each of the entities involved: the main task of the Austrian partner will be to design the new device, that of Padua university to certify the device through FEM analysis (a special structural analysis based on Finite Elements). As project lead, primarily Dolomiticert will coordinate the entire calendar and, from a more tangible aspect, it will handle the choice of the most suitable materials for the device and certify the product from an ergonomic and safety standpoint.

The project is co-financed by the European Union (ERDF co-financing) as part of the Italy–Austria Interreg IV Program and will end in May 2014, but already by the start of next year the first 2-dimension draft of the helmet and goggles will be presented.