The world’s fastest man – Usain Bolt – cushions his feet with insoles made from D3O’s impact protection technology. Its materials are also used in helmets and body armour worn by the US military and American football players, as well as to make protective casings for tablets and smartphones. The Croydon-based firm was started in 2002 by material scientist Richard Palmer, and in April 2015 it secured £13m investment from the Entrepreneurs Fund and Beringea. Boosted by global demand for impact-protection technology sales hit £9.2m last year, with more than 90% generated overseas. Under chief executive Stuart Sawyer, 54, D3O is partnering with DuPont to develop a new thermoplastic, and it expects sales to exceed £12m this year.
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