MIPS, the Swedish brain safety technology company that has been leading the way in helmet and brain safety with over 20 years of research, is proud to announce that founders Peter Halldin, Hans von Holst and Svein Kleiven are awarded the 2019 Swedish Engineers Polhem Prize. The MIPS-patented Brain Protection System (BPS) is designed to reduce rotational motion transferred to the brain from angled impacts to the head. Now, the research trio behind the unique helmet technology is rewarded with Sweden’s oldest and finest technical award.
“MIPS is a fantastic testimony of technological innovation that makes a difference in everyday life through improved safety for recreational and professional athletes,” said Ulrika Lindstrand, president of the Swedish Association of Graduate Engineers (Sveriges Ingenjörer).
In 1995, Hans von Holst, then working as a brain surgeon with the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, began to explore how helmets were constructed after seeing too many people who had suffered head trauma despite wearing helmets. Together with Peter Halldin at KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology), they found that rotational motion can affect the brain and increase the risk for minor and severe brain injuries. At the same time Svein Kleiven and Hans von Holst started to develop the FE-computer model of the human brain that is used to measure the effects of MIPS and rotational motion. MIPS’ added brain protection system has been proven to reduce the rotational motion when implemented in a helmet by absorbing and redirecting energies and forces otherwise transmitted to the brain.
“A helmet equipped with MIPS solution enables relative movement between the head and the helmet and takes into account the impact from all angles. In this way, we mimic the brain’s own protection system and thereby reduce the risk of both minor and more severe brain damage,” said Hans von Holst, brain surgeon and professor at KTH.
“Being awarded the Polhem Prize is a great honor for us. Our ambition has always been to reduce the risk of brain damage for helmet users worldwide. We believe that protection against rotational motion in helmets should be as obvious as having a seat belt in cars,” continued Peter Halldin, CSO at MIPS.
MIPS AB is a listed company that sells the protection system to helmet manufacturers worldwide. Today, the solution is used by manufacturers of equestrian, motorcycle, bicycle, construction, military, hockey and ski helmets. By 2018, 9.2 million units had been sold to a wide range of helmet brands.
The awards ceremony will take place at the Polhemsfesten on November 6 in Stockholm. The prize winners each receive a Polhems medal in gold and parts of the prize sum of SEK 250,000.