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Why NASA iTech?


Why NASA iTech?

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Why NASA iTech?


Why NASA iTech?

Continual innovation – from outside the space industry as well as within – promises to make future spaceflight more cost effective, more reliable and safer than merely relying on current technology.

Innovative ideas and technologies that could enhance future space exploration missions may already exist at various stages of development. Whether these technologies are located at small companies, university labs or other locations, it's important to find them and support their development.

Some innovations and technologies necessary for further exploration of space may not yet exist. By participating in NASA iTech, universities, small businesses and inventors that have adjacent technologies will reveal opportunities to re-vector collaborative resources to mature these technologies for humankind's next greatest mission beyond Earth orbit.


NASA iTech brings notable benefits for innovators who submit their ideas:

Photo by kasto80/iStock / Getty Images

Connections

All eligible white papers submitted are reviewed by a panel of experts. The top 25 white papers submitted will be recognized by NASA iTech as semifinalists in May 2017 and moved forward for evaluation by NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist.

The top 10 finalists will be announced in June 2017. These innovators will be invited to present to the agency and space industry leaders at the 2017 NASA iTech Forum on July 10-14 during the Centennial Celebration at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

Photo by Hemera Technologies/PHOTOS.com>> / Getty Images

Mentorship

At the 2017 NASA iTech Forum, a team of expert coaches will help the top ten innovators sharpen their pitches to prepare for their presentations to NASA and space industry senior leadership.

The top three solutions for Cycle 2 will be selected and recognized in an awards ceremony at the culmination of the 2017 NASA iTech Forum.

Photo by Chris Ryan/OJO Images / Getty Images

Recognition

The top ten innovators selected to participate in the 2017 NASA iTech Forum will be invited to NASA's Langley Research Center, in Hampton, Virginia to present their concepts to NASA leaders, industry partners, subject matter experts, and space investors.

The 2017 forum will provide a direct pipeline to NASA and industry personnel as well as increased visibility to potential investors.


The Call for White Papers for Cycle 2 closed on April 7, 2017. The top 25 entries were announced on May 4, 2017.

The top 10 finalists will be announced on June 1, 2017.


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Cycle 2 Focus Areas


Cycle 2 Challenge Focus Areas

Cycle 2 Focus Areas


Cycle 2 Challenge Focus Areas

The five challenge focus areas for NASA iTech Cycle 2 are:


Autonomy

This challenge focus area seeks to complement NASA’s current investments in the development of intelligent machine technologies and methods supporting operational needs in functional areas such as navigation, communication, surveillance, robotics, and design of architectures for integration into an autonomous system.


Big Data: Data Mining and Machine Learning

This challenge focus area seeks to improve NASA’s speed and cost efficiency of dataset analysis.  This includes potential breakthroughs in the areas of distributed computing, machine learning, and/or blockchain technology that significantly lowers the cost and increases the speed of analyzing large datasets.


Medical Systems and Operations

This challenge focus area seeks to complement and support NASA’s current investments in medical systems and operations for crew health in areas such as exploration lab analyses technologies, food and pharmaceutical technologies, and AI-assisted medical decision support - including the potential use of augmented reality platforms.


Radiation Protection and Mitigation

This challenge focus area seeks to complement and support NASA’s current investments in radiation detection technologies by leveraging external resources to identify and develop precision radiation detectors.  This challenge area also includes a call for research results and pharmaceutical agents which support the control or mitigation of space radiation health risks.


X-Factor Innovations: Solutions for Unspecified Future Challenges

Understanding that innovation can be unpredictable, this challenge focus area is specifically for solutions not identified in one of the other iTech Cycle 2 focus areas. Entries in this category should be able to clearly demonstrate a strong potential to solve a critical need for NASA that is not identified in one of the other four Cycle 2 focus areas. 

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Cycle 2 Process and Timeline


Timeline and Process

Cycle 2 Process and Timeline


Timeline and Process

Planned Timeline - Subject to Modification

Planned Timeline - Subject to Modification


iTech Cycle 2 Process

  • All eligible white papers* submitted by April 7, 2017 are being evaluated by a panel of experts organized by the National Institute of Aerospace. The top 25 potential solutions will be announced May 4, 2017.

  • Semifinalist papers will be reviewed further by NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist and the top 10 finalists will be announced on June 1, 2017.

  • Representatives of those top 10 innovations will be invited to participate in the NASA iTech Forum at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, July 10 - 14, 2017 during their Centennial Celebration.** At the forum, innovators will network with leadership from NASA Headquarters and Centers from across the U.S. and the agency’s largest contractors as they are mentored to refine and sharpen their final presentations. The top three ideas of Cycle 2 will be announced after the conclusion of the NASA iTech Forum.

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

For additional guidelines click here.

 
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Guidelines


Idea Submission Guidelines

Guidelines


Idea Submission Guidelines

The Call for White Papers for Cycle 2 closed on April 7, 2017.

The top 25 entries will be announced on May 4, 2017.


Formatting Instructions and Tips for White Paper Submissions

You are responsible for the formatting and appearance of your white paper abstract. Figures and tables must be placed in the file and therefore must be in digital format.

We recommend that you use image file formats that provide acceptable resolution without being huge (for example, please don't use a 1-MB TIFF file when a 150-K GIF file will do).

  • File size cannot exceed 50 MB.
  • Five (5) pages maximum (including figures, tables, and references)
  • A cover page is not required, but if your team chooses to use a cover page, it will not count toward the five-page limit
  • White Papers should be single-spaced
  • Please use fonts common to Macintosh and PC platforms, i.e., Times, Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial for text; Symbol for mathematical symbols and Greek letters.
  • Font size should be 12 pt.

Your White Paper File MUST INCLUDE:

  • Title
  • Full name; names of all team members
  • If you are affiliated with a company or organization - their name
  • If you are affiliated with an accelerator or incubator – their name
  • If you are affiliated with a college or university – their name
  • If you are affiliated with or funded by an Angel group or VC Firm – their name

Things to consider:

For all NASA iTech Cycle 2 idea submissions, attention should be given to the following:

  • The current “Technology Readiness Level” (TRL) level of your development – is it merely a theory or is it currently on the market as a product or is it somewhere in between?
  • Our judges will be asking themselves the following questions regarding your submittal in their evaluation:

a.     Which area of focus does the proposal seem to address? (Challenge focus areas for Cycle 2 can be found here.)
b.     Does the development have the potential to break new ground in its field?
c.     Can the innovation go to market quickly (ideally within two years)?
d.     Is it clear how the business will generate money?
e.     Does the submitter clearly understand who the customer is?
f.      Does the submitter have the skills to succeed?
g.     Does the submitter have a clear path and milestones to succeed?
h.     Does the submitter have the right leadership?

COMPLIANCE MATRIX

During the scoring process, NASA iTech Forum judges will need to ensure that teams address one or more of the areas of focus and other expectations laid out in these guidelines. When developing your submittal, please verify that you have addressed all (a-h) of the elements above that the judges will be considering. A completed Compliance Matrix must be included with your submittal (included as an appendix).

The compliance matrix DOES NOT count towards your page maximum.

ELIGIBILITY

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

SUBMITTING YOUR PROPOSAL / WHITEPAPER

The Call for White Papers for Cycle 2 closed on April 7, 2017.  Thank you to all who submitted potential solutions.

The top 25 entries will be announced on May 4, 2017.

 

 
 

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FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in NASA iTech?

NASA iTech is open to U.S. citizens or U.S. Permanent Residents only. NASA iTech is subject to all current International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) guidelines. NASA employees are not eligible, but are encouraged to participate in existing programs and opportunities within the agency aimed at fostering emerging technologies. 


Who owns the Intellectual Property for the idea(s) I submit?

NASA iTech, its partners, including but not limited to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), do not claim rights to intellectual property submitted through this initiative. By participating in NASA iTech, you agree that the idea you submit is your own and/or that you have the legal right to submit the idea.


Idea submission/white paper formatting guidelines can be found here.

Formatting Guidelines


For additional information about participation, contact Tom Flake, iTech Lead for the National Institute of Aerospace at thomas.flake@nianet.org.

For media inquiries, contact Timothy Allen, NASA iTech Communications Lead at timothy.allen@nianet.org

Other Questions

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iTech Innovator Discussion Group


iTech Innovator Discussion Group


 

If you have submitted an eligible white paper to NASA iTech and would like to take part in the participant's discussion group for NASA iTech on LinkedIn*, you may visit it using the button below.


* The LinkedIn Group is not affiliated with or managed by NASA. Official announcements regarding NASA iTech will be posted at http://www.NASAiTech.com.

 
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Collaborators


Collaborators