“Safe a Head”: developments after third meeting

Presentation of Interreg IV project advancement

The progress of the project "Development of new and innovative helmet and goggles to increase safety and use in sport": important discoveries were illustrated at the third meeting of the partners at Zell am See.


The main aim of the study directed by Dolomiticert as part of the Interreg IV Italy–Austria program is to increase the use of helmets by creating a model that is lightweight, smaller, interdisciplinary and ergonomic to replace current types that are very uncomfortable and bulky. Additionally, the experts will also study new "active" ski goggles that will adapt quickly to weather conditions.


Apropos of this, the research has taken three main directions. The following is an outline of the protagonists and areas of research. The Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Padua focused on researching bibliographic and experimental material on the impact behavior of composite laminates typically used for making helmets for motorcycling and other disciplines such as skiing and mountaineering. The research clarified the energy and performance measurements that are to be monitored at the design stage, their inter-relationship and the methods of predicting the impact behavior of composite laminates.


On the basis of these results, criteria were shared with regard to the choice of materials and the construction of laminates that can be used for designing the prototype helmet:
Design Storz presented a design variation for skiing instructors and other designs for potential target groups, such as free skiers, ski excursionists and children. The proposed designs include the integration of different technologies like GPS, biosensors, video or modern composite materials.
Dolomiticert, on the other hand, focused on the behavior and level of protection offered by various types of helmets for different uses. Specifically, laboratory staff analyzed alpine skiing and snowboarding helmets (based on standard EN 1077), cycling, skateboarding and roller skating helmets (EN 1078) and industrial safety helmets (EN 397).


In addition to the updating aspects, the partners also agreed on the content of an important survey addressed to skiing and snowboarding instructors in the relevant areas of the project: a 10-minute qualitative and quantitative questionnaire which will be used to identify the characteristics of the perfect ski helmet but which will also aim at facilitating the work of instructors vis-à-vis their students. This will enable the project to focus on the strong points emerging from the responses.


The meeting also provided the occasion for analyzing the project's reference areas. First and foremost, the partners focused on the risks involved in alpine skiing and snowboarding given that thousands of accidents occur every year. This was followed by consumer profiles: demographic data was examined with regard to age, gender, disciplines practiced and helmet use, which revealed that in the Alpine region the use of helmets was highest in Switzerland (about 80%) and that children under 14 are required or tend to wear a helmet.


Three different retail prices were proposed that took into consideration the parameters of sector leaders and a downturn in the upcoming season that could be between -15 and -30% compared with the previous season.
Lastly, the partners studied the potential market: on the basis of previous analyses, a quantitative projection was made for the three possible product positions.