BOSTON (CBS) – A South Shore company jumps to the head of the class in a government funded study on head health.

Contact sports like soccer and football continue to be under the spotlight when it comes to concussions.

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Plymouth startup Corsair Innovations just got a quarter million dollars for its idea to prevent injuries: Fiber Energy Absorbing Material.

It’s called FEAM and President Bill Lyndon says his company’s fiber replaces foam to help against the impact.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

“That could be used in helmets, body protection systems, sports protection equipment,” Lyndon says. “We’ve also talked about prosthetic applications.”

Why fiber? Lyndon says for one it’s flexible.

“We can vary the strength of the fibers that absorb the energy, the thickness, the length, the type of material, the way the material is put on.”

And it’s durable.

“You can throw this in the wash, it’s washable, it’s breathable,” he says.

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Lyndon came up with the idea while working at UMass Dartmouth and decided to make a company out of it.

And he’s learned a thing or two about concussions.

“The most severe concussions are those when your helmet is hit at an angle,” Lyndon said.

And here’s where his fiber idea makes a difference:

“Our material deflects and redirects the energy away from that rotational component,” he says.

Advantage fiber.

“It does something that foam can never do. It allows the energy to pass and redirect.”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, along with the NFL, GE and Under Armour sponsor the competition with even more money on the line in the finals.

The winner of the final material challenge will get a half million dollars next year.

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More than 2.5 million people are affected by traumatic brain injury every year and for Corsair Innovations, the cushion is fabric.