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15th February 2019, Waalwijk

Carbon handle for guide dogs

Refitech’s new carbon bracket for guide dog harnesses weighs less than 50% of the previous metal version, meaning more comfort for the dog and the owner. © Refitech

Refitech’s new carbon bracket for guide dog harnesses weighs less than 50% of the previous metal version, meaning more comfort for the dog and the owner. © Refitech

A carbon guide dog handle, produced by Refitech Carbon Components for the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation (KNGF), has been picked as one of the finalists in the Sports & Healthcare Category for a JEC 2019 Innovation Award. This new handle, which weighs less than 50% of the previous metal version, is designed to significantly improve the comfort for both the guide dog and the owner.

“We are absolutely proud that our product has been chosen as one of the finalists,” said Arthur Cooijmans, CEO of Refitech. “It is now up to the international jury to determine if we are the winner in our category, which will be announced during the Awards Ceremony, on the second day of JEC World.”

Refitech’s lightweight carbon handle is part of a new guide dog harness, specially developed for KNGF. The design incorporates several novel features inspired by motor sports and kite surfing equipment. Once mounted on the harness, the carbon handle ‘floats’ above the dog’s back, making it easier to locate for the owner. The stiffness of the design also improves the signalling of directions, vital as the guide dog helps its owner to navigate obstacles and through traffic.

A carbon guide dog handle. © Refitech

A carbon guide dog handle. © Refitech

Although originally designed for the Dutch market, the new harness has already the interest from official Dog Training Associations around the world, the company reports. Refitech is looking for potential partners worldwide to market the guide dog harness and handle locally. “The sales of the guide dog harness also mean a significant contribution to the KNGF resources for training guide dogs, which makes this an even more special and precious product to us,” said Mr Cooijmans.

At JEC World 2019, in Paris next month, Refitech will exhibit at the Holland Pavilion. In addition, the guide dog harness and handle will be on display at the Sports & LifeStyle Innovation Planet.

www.refitech.nl

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