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Running shoes without Achilles' heel

February 2012

Heel-less running shoe © Healus Ltd

A patented technology has allowed the creation of a heel-less running shoe, improving performances while putting less strain on the body and reducing health risks. Small and micro-businesses joined forces to develop the innovative footwear, thanks to EU research funding.

By replacing the padded heel of traditional running shoes by a shock-absorbing sole plate incorporated under the middle part of the foot, the impact on the heel as well as on knees and ankles is reduced.

The project is the brainchild of Mr Adri Hartveld, a physiotherapist and the founder and managing director of the UK-based Healus Technology company. The micro-enterprise prototyped and tested the concept for 10 years. To turn it into a marketable product, it teamed up with numerous research partners in different European countries many of which are micro-businesses (less than 10 employees) and small businesses (between 10 and 49 employees).

This research consortium received €1.02 million from the EU in grant funding under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) - the 'Research for the benefit of SMEs' theme aims to strengthen the innovation capacity of European SMEs and their contribution to the development of new technology-based products and markets. The funding enabled the research, evaluations and tests, as well as dissemination activities and technology transfer.

In the future, the EU funding programme for research and innovation will also cover commercialisation, helping innovative SMEs to take their products from the lab to the market.

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    Last update: 24/02/2014 | Top