POC and MIPS have announced a new 'deeper partnership' that will have the two Swedish companies working closely to develop new rotational impact protection systems for cycling and snowsports helmets. POC was the first company to incorporate MIPS' slip plane liner in helmets back in 2009, and the two companies have joined forces on multiple helmet safety projects over the years.
It hasn't been entirely smooth sailing, though; MIPS sued POC in 2017, claiming that POC's SPIN Technology system infringed on their intellectual properties. The SPIN system uses a silicone bladder inside each pad that's designed to allow the helmet to move slightly rather than stick in place during an impact in order to reduce the rotational impact forces that reach the brain. That lawsuit was settled in 2018, and according to a statement issued by POC, "The companies intend to jointly develop safer helmets combining POC and MIPS' strengths in technological innovation, style and quality."
As part of the new collaboration, POC's SPIN system will be phased out and replaced by systems from MIPS instead.
Press Release: POC
POC, which has built an international reputation on safety, innovation and design, and MIPS, the Swedish safety technology company partnering with many helmet brands with its world leading Brain Protection System, are announcing a deeper partnership. The new collaboration will see POC implement MIPS systems in many of its helmets starting with a new POCito Crane which will be released in late summer 2020. In addition, the new partnership will consider new, enhanced rotational protection systems, which will be developed specifically for a number of POC performance helmets to be released in 2021.
“Safety is at the very center of POC and our approach has always been to consider everything to improve safety, even if that means doing something that has never been done before,” said POC CEO, Jonas Sjögren. “This was the basis for our initial collaboration with MIPS in 2009, where we were the first ever to integrate a rotational impact protection system in snow sports and cycling helmets.”
MIPS is the leader in the field of rotational impact protection and the renewed partnership will give POC the opportunity to focus on new innovations under development around its Whole helmet concept, which is built on holistic helmet safety, creating helmets that are able to protect a user before, during and after an accident.
“MIPS is committed to protect any brain from injury through our helmet-based Brain Protection System and we have more than twenty years of research and testing to support our activities,” said Max Strandwitz, MIPS CEO. “We are very happy to collaborate with POC, not only as an acknowledged leader in safety and the manufacturer that brought MIPS to the market, but also as they have continued to push new thinking and innovations. Our combined efforts, maximizing each other’s strengths, will ultimately lead to enhancements in safety for all.”
POC CEO, Jonas Sjögren, continued, “Even if safety is better understood that does not mean we can stand still. We have to keep looking ahead to consider and evaluate what we have and what we need for the future. Our Whole helmet concept illustrates that in today’s world a helmet can, and should, do significantly more than just manage impacts. The best protection comes from not having an impact at all, and a helmet can protect you before, during and after an accident, whether it’s visibility, aramid barriers or NFC medical ID chips. With our renewed partnership with MIPS we know that rotational impact protection will be in good hands, our job will be to expand our curiosity, open mindedness and leave no stone unturned in search of new innovations and enhanced safety for the benefit of all.”
POC and MIPS, who are currently industry partners in a number of Swedish publicly funded projects around helmet safety, have a history of working together and the new partnership will see a host of POC’s helmets feature a MIPS rotational impact protection system.
In addition, POC and MIPS engineers will work together with the best of their ideas and innovations to develop new rotational impact solutions which will feature in a number of POC helmets to be released in 2021. These will follow on from the POCito Crane in 2020, with an objective to enhance comfort, ventilation and rotational impact protection. As part of the new partnership SPIN, POC’s silicone pad technology system, will be phased out and replaced by MIPS solutions in the majority of its helmets in the future.
Ensuring that rotational impact protection, one essential ingredient in a helmet, benefits from focused time and resource is an important consideration. By working with a leader in the field the collaboration also supports POC’s desire to focus on other safety innovations through its Whole helmet concept which focusses on developing enhanced safety as a system, where every material and innovation in a helmet works seamlessly together to protect before, during and after an accident.