Patrick Dunne appointed D3O chairman

British smart materials specialist D3O, has appointed Patrick Dunne as chairman. He brings a wealth of international business experience from investor 3i where he held a variety of investment and leadership roles and was a member of its operating committee.


High growth British smart materials specialist D3O, has appointed Patrick Dunne as Chairman. Based near Brighton, East Sussex, D3O is a groundbreaking impact protection solutions company.

D3O sells and licenses a range of unique patented smart materials and is a market leader in protective wear and shock absorbing materials. It supplies leading brands in the footwear, electronics, sport, motorcycle, industrial workwear, law enforcement and military protection markets.

A growing range of innovative new products and international growth have enabled D3O to treble in size over the last three years and to build a customer base of leading brands and organisations. These include number one American Football helmet manufacturer Schutt Sports, Furygan the French motorcycle brand, Burton Snowboards, Snickers Workwear as well as the US Special Forces.

Patrick’s appointment adds to an already strong board and is in preparation for the next phase of growth. He brings a wealth of international business experience from investor 3i where he held a variety of investment and leadership roles and was a member of its Operating committee as well as from his early career at Air Products.

In addition to his business interests Patrick also serves on the General Council of The University of Warwick, Chairs Leap Confronting Conflict, the UK’s leading charity in the field of youth and conflict and is the founder of Warwick in Africa a charity transforming Maths and English teaching in township schools in Africa.

Commenting on the appointment CEO, Stuart Sawyer said
“The company is about to enter a particularly exciting period, as we gear up for our next stage of growth. The introduction of new materials and processes has underpinned our steady growth and we have a tremendous pipeline of opportunity building. Over 90% of our business is now generated overseas with 40% of revenues now being generated in the US. I am looking forward to working with Patrick to deliver significant growth.”

D3O’s innovative protective products were first used during the 2006 Winter Olympics in ski race suits for the US and Canadian teams. In the last 12 months, D3O has developed high performance helmet liner systems for the US team sports market including American Football and Baseball and was named “Consumer Product Design of the Year” at the 2013 Plastics Industry Awards. D3O has been named National Champion in the European Business Awards for these sports helmet developments as part of the UKTI Award for Innovation and is now in the running, against the other European finalists, for the prestigious Ruban D’Honneur at the 2014 European Business Awards.

D3O’s unique patented technology is used to make a soft and flexible material with high shock absorbing properties. In standard conditions the material’s molecules flow freely, allowing the material to be soft and flexible, but on impact, lock together to dissipate the impact energy and reduce the transmitted force.

Commenting on the appointment Patrick Dunne said:
“I am delighted with this appointment. D3O has great products, a strong team and is building a powerful brand in its markets. It’s a great British success story and I am very much looking forward to helping Stuart and the team take the business to the next level.”

The company is committed driving innovation in helmet applications and has recently been awarded funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, to develop a new Shock Absorption Helmet System for soldiers to reduce Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI and mTBI). The Smart award will enable D3O to research and develop a helmet liner system, featuring their patented technology, to deliver superior military Personal Protection Equipment. The project aims to reduce the severity and occurrence of mTBI and TBI by mitigating the blunt trauma impact force caused by IED blasts.

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