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Press Release
Posted on January 29, 2018

Creating the future of wheelchairs through 3D printed devices

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Allianz, one of the world´s leading insurers, and co-creation platform Launch Forth are teaming up to pose a global design challenge that envisions the future of mobility and accessibility in sports by asking innovators to submit ideas and designs for adaptive mobility devices, like wheelchairs, with a focus on additive manufacturing, in order to level the playing field for people of all abilities.
 
Launching today, the "Allianz Adaptive Sports" category asks the community to create ideas and devices for people with mobility impairments that can also be adaptable to all, regardless of ability. The category encompasses two main projects, Super Human Sports and Mass Mobility, which allows innovators to engage in a broader range of ideation as they create various solutions for adaptive mobility.
 
"At Allianz, we strive to embrace technology innovations that will shape the way people ultimately live in the future by committing ourselves to co-creating new solutions with strong partners and communities," said Jean-Marc Pailhol, head of group market management and distribution at Allianz SE. "What we're really trying to do here is change the conversation around mobility devices, taking something that is currently just a medical device and turning it into something sleek and customizable, similar to the way that prosthetics have changed and evolved into something to be shown off."
 
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The concept challenge within the first project, Super Human Sports, is where participants will submit concept art showcasing their vision for the next extreme sport equipment that would allow athletes of varying abilities to compete together and push the boundaries of human ability to the extreme. Seven winners will receive a total of $10,000 in prizes. Submissions close Jan. 31, 2018.
 
The second project, Mass Mobility, debuts in two phases with the brainstorming phase, now underway, and the product design challenge phase, beginning in Q1. The challenge focuses on the intersection of sports, style and leisure by tasking participants to come up with an active lifestyle device that can be customized to match a variety of lifestyles, needs and style choices. The concept needs to be submitted as a fully thought-out product design that can be prototyped via 3D printing.
 
"We're calling for all innovators around the globe with knowledge and expertise in 3D printing, industrial and project designers and manufacturing engineers, to help us move the meter to create truly life-changing products," said Elle Shelley, executive vice president of Launch Forth. "Whether it be a self-balancing bike for downhill racing or a skateboard that has special grips on the deck, we're really pushing these solvers to think outside the box."
 
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The "Allianz Adaptive Sports" projects are run on San Francisco-based Launch Forth, an enterprise-level product design platform powered by a robust co-creation community of 185,000 designers, engineers and solvers. Using open innovation to accelerate the product development process, Launch Forth allows people everywhere the opportunity to collaborate with minds from around the world, team up to work together to solve perplexing issues, compete for prizes by submitting their own ideas, models and solutions while also building their professional reputation.
 
For more information on the "Allianz Adaptive Sports" category and to join the Super Human Sports and Mass Mobility projects, visit LaunchForth.io.
 
About Launch Forth
Launch Forth is a SaaS (software as a service) platform for product design powered by a robust community of designers, engineers and solvers. As the latest offering from LM, Inc., Launch Forth harnesses the speed and potential of crowdsourcing and co-creation to bring breakthrough products to market quickly with a shared community of innovators from around the globe who collaborate on ideas, solve problems and create solutions for challenges both large and small. This community powered platform pairs design thinking with open innovation and accelerates the product development process for well-respected global giants like HP Inc., Local Motors,
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General Electric Co. and Airbus. Learn more at LaunchForth.io.
 
About Allianz
The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 86 million retail and corporate customers. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world's largest investors, managing over 650 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers while our asset managers Allianz Global Investors and PIMCO manage an additional 1.4 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we hold the leading position for insurers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2016, over 140,000 employees in more than 70 countries achieved total revenues of 122 billion euros and an operating profit of 11 billion euros for the group. Learn more at AllianzUSA.com External Link
 
Source and top image: Allianz
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