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Intro


Don't just connect the dots.

Connect the stars.

We stand at a pivotal moment in space exploration. Humankind is beginning to extend its reach into the solar system farther than ever before.

As we expand the frontiers of knowledge, capability, and opportunity in space, finding innovative solutions to the challenges of future space exploration is more important than ever.

NASA iTech is a collaborative effort to find and foster those potential solutions - from businesses small and large, universities, even undiscovered inventors. Because when ideas go further, we all go farther.

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Intro


Don't just connect the dots.

Connect the stars.

We stand at a pivotal moment in space exploration. Humankind is beginning to extend its reach into the solar system farther than ever before.

As we expand the frontiers of knowledge, capability, and opportunity in space, finding innovative solutions to the challenges of future space exploration is more important than ever.

NASA iTech is a collaborative effort to find and foster those potential solutions - from businesses small and large, universities, even undiscovered inventors. Because when ideas go further, we all go farther.

 

NASA iTech is a yearlong initiative to find innovative ideas with the most potential impact on future space exploration and support development of the most promising solutions.

Those ideas may come from small or large businesses, academia, other government organizations – or others who may not have previously had a forum to present their solutions to NASA leadership or their industry partners.

Cycle 1 of the initiative culminated with the NASA iTech Forum at NASA Headquarters in December 2016. There, the most promising innovations were recognized and presented with opportunities to further their development.


The first step for potential innovators to participate in NASA iTech cycle 1 was to submit a five-page white paper summarizing proposed innovations to solve challenges in one of the focus areas listed below. The call for white papers for NASA iTech Cycle 1 closed October 17, 2016.

  • All eligible white papers were evaluated by a panel of experts organized by the National Institute of Aerospace. The top 25 potential solutions were announced November 2, 2016.

  • Semifinalist papers were reviewed by NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist and the top 10 finalists were announced on November 21, 2016.

  • Representatives of those top 10 innovations were invited to participate in the NASA iTech Forum at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C., December 5-8, 2016**. At the forum, the innovators networked with leadership from NASA Headquarters and Centers from across the U.S. and the agency’s largest contractors as they were mentored to refine and sharpen their final presentations. The top three ideas of Cycle 1 were announced after the conclusion of the NASA iTech Forum.

The top three finalists of NASA's iTech Cycle 1 are (in alphabetical order):


Aequor, Inc.

Oceanside, California

Entry Title: Novel Antibiofilm Molecules

Challenge Focus Area: Life Support Systems - Increase Oxygen Recovery


InnaMed, Inc.

Anaheim, California

Entry Title: Microfluidic Blood Testing Device Utilizing Electrochemical Sensing

Challenge Focus Area: Life Support Systems - Increase Oxygen Recovery


Liberty Biosecurity

Arlington, Virginia

Entry Title: Molecules to Safely Protect Against DNA Damage Caused by Ionizing Radiation in Space.          

Challenge Focus Area: Radiation - Protection and Mitigation


These top three innovators will receive additional resources over the next six months to help further develop their proposed technology solutions.

In January 2017, areas of innovation for NASA iTech Cycle 2  will be announced and the NASA iTech process will be repeated with a call for Cycle 2 white papers addressing those areas.

* NASA iTech is open to U.S. Citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents only.

**Journalists wishing to attend the December Forum in Washington must RSVP to Gina Anderson, NASA HQ Office of Communications, by COB Friday, Dec. 2. Due to space limitations, non-registered journalists will not be able to attend.**

 

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NASA iTech Forum Images


Images from NASA iTech Forum 2016

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NASA iTech Forum Images


Images from NASA iTech Forum 2016

Innovators representing the top ten ideas presented at NASA's iTech Forum, December 5-8, 2016.

The top three innovators recognized at the forum were Aequor, Inc., InnaMed, Inc. and Liberty BioSecurity.

Leaders from NASA, the space industry and potential investors watch final presentations from the top ten innovators at NASA's iTech Forum at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Kira Blackwell, iTech Program Executive and Innovation Liaison for NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist introduces NASA's Acting Chief Technologist, Dennis Andrucyk to iTech Forum participants.

Deputy Administrator of the Space Technology MIssion Directorate (STMD) and Acting NASA Chief Technologist, Dennis Andrucyk welcomes the top ten NASA iTech finalists.

Dr. Jeffrey Watumull from Oceanit Laboratories presents one of Oceanit's NASA iTech finalist innovations, "The Virtual Medical Staff."

Hans Zachrau, from Airbus DS Space Systems, MAPT Team, accepts a certificate from Acting Chief Technologist Dennis Andrucyk recognizing the organization as a NASA iTech finalist.

NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman welcomes participants to the iTech Forum at NASA Headquarters on December 7, 2016.

NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman speaks on the importance of innovation as she welcomes finalists to the NASA iTech Forum.

Tak-Sing Wong and Pak Kin Wong of Pennsylvania State's SLIPS-Lab Team present their innovative idea at a NASA iTech Impact Table Session.

Drs. Marilyn Bruno and Cynthia Burzell from Aequor, Inc. were recognized as a finalist team and for presenting one of the top three innovations at NASA iTech for "Novel Antibiofilm Molecules."

InnaMed, Inc. was named a top three innovator for their "Microfluidic Blood Device Utilizing Electrochemical Sensing." Anup Singh holds a certificate recognizing InnaMed as an iTech finalist.

Dr. David Sinclair of Liberty BioSecurity presents on "Molecules to Safely Protect Against DNA Damage Caused by Ionizing Radiation in Space." A panel of judges would later recognize this as one of the top three innovations for Cycle 1 of NASA iTech.

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Cycle 1 Focus Areas


Cycle 1 Focus Areas

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Cycle 1 Focus Areas


Cycle 1 Focus Areas

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RADIATION – Protection and Mitigation

This challenge focus area seeks to complement and support NASA’s current investments in radiation detection technologies by leveraging on external resources to identify and develop precision radiation detectors.

This challenge topic also includes a call for research results and pharmaceutical agents which support the control or mitigation of space radiation health risks.


LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS – Increase Oxygen Recovery

This challenge focus area seeks to explore new methods to increase the recovery of oxygen (O2) from the carbon dioxide (CO2) exhaled during crew respiration.


CREW HEALTH - Medical Systems and Operations

This challenge focus area seeks to complement or jump-start NASA’s current or planned investments in: 

  • Exploration Lab Analyses Technologies
  • Flexible Ultrasound Technologies/Modalities
  • Food and Pharmaceutical Technologies
  • Assisted Medical Decision Support 
  • Augmented Reality Platforms 

EARTH SCIENCES – High Resolution Measurements of Key Greenhouse Gases

This challenge focus area seeks to enable the use of space based LIDAR systems and related technologies which create measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere with unprecedented fidelity.


PROPULSION - Energy Storage Technologies

This challenge focus area seeks to complement NASA’s current investments in electrified propulsion by focusing on research in high specific-energy storage technologies to address stringent weight requirements for aircraft propulsion applications.


For Additional background and details about NASA iTech: