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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.

Here's a brief look at NASA iTech and the innovations presented by the most recent winners as we celebrate Cycle 2 and move to Cycle 3.


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 NASA iTech experts. The top 25 white papers submitted for Cycle 3 will be recognized by NASA iTech as semifinalists in November 2017 and moved forward for further evaluation by NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist.

The top 10 finalists will be announced in December 2017. These innovators will presented to agency and space industry leaders at the NASA iTech Cycle 3 Forum which is planned to be held January 22-25, 2018.

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

Mentorship

At the NASA iTech Cycle 3 Forum, which is planned to be held at Canon U.S.A. in Melville, NY, 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. Workshops are planned for the finalists on Jan. 29 and 30 with final presentations slated for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2018.

The top three solutions for Cycle 3 will be selected and recognized in an awards ceremony at the culmination of the NASA iTech Cycle 3 Forum.

Winners continue to be mentored after the forum to help ensure success in bringing their innovation to market.

Photo by Chris Ryan/OJO Images / Getty Images

Recognition

The top ten innovators for Cycle 3 will be invited to present their concepts in person to NASA leaders, industry partners, subject matter experts, and space investors at the NASA iTech Forum.

Past winners have also participated in prestigious events, such as serving on innovation-themed panels at the Space Technology & Investment Forum in San Francisco, California and the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The forum provides a direct pipeline to NASA and industry personnel as well as increased visibility and access to potential investors.


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Copy of Cycle 3 Timeline


NASA iTech Cycle 3 Timeline

Copy of Cycle 3 Timeline


NASA iTech Cycle 3 Timeline

The Call for White Papers for NASA iTech Cycle 3 closed on October 20, 2017. All eligible entries are in the process of being evaluated.

Semifinalists were announced on November 21, 2017. Finalists will be announced on Dec. 18, 2018.

Best wishes and thanks to all who have entered!

Notional Timeline - Subject to Change

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Cycle 3 Focus Areas


Cycle 3 Challenge Focus Areas

Cycle 3 Focus Areas


Cycle 3 Challenge Focus Areas

The six challenge focus areas for NASA iTech Cycle 3 are:


Artificial Intelligence: Increased efficiency in data mining of large data sets

There was a time when collecting a huge data set was as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack, but as technology has developed, that is no longer an issue.  Today’s challenge is identifying a specific needle in a pile of needles and being able to extract and utilize the data.  For example, in a massive weather dataset, how do we find a tropical cyclone among all of the other data?


Augmented Reality Advancement: Virtual worlds for medical, physiological, and/or physical training

Deep space exploration creates challenges that augmented reality tools may be able to address.  Examples include assisting with medical procedures; addressing psychological issues when time is limited and distance from physicians and families is great; and/or providing computer-generated physical training capabilities. Solutions should help minimize risk for future missions.


Autonomy: Success in the face of limited data

Today we train machines to “learn” through thousands–even tens of thousands or millions–of examples. But, the challenges of future space exploration are unprecedented. How do you equip machines and computers to make smart decisions when there aren’t millions of examples to learn from – and tech support is literally millions of miles away? If you know how to teach machines to make the best decisions with limited data, you will go far in Cycle 3.


High Performance Computing: Improved performance/lower cost

With the creation of massive datasets, we now need to process that data more cost-effectively to make efficient use of it.  How can we significantly drop the cost and increase the speed of processing – perhaps by an order of magnitude?


Medical Breakthrough: New approaches that will revolutionize human health and healthcare

Examples include, but are not limited to, lab analysis technologies, flexible ultrasound technologies, in-situ production capabilities for medicine or food, and technologies that can extend the life of medicine and/or food.  We are evaluating your best ideas right now.


X-Factor: Innovations so compelling NASA should know about them

You have something–you know you do–something so cool something so revolutionary that we didn't even know to ask for it, "but NASA has got to know!”  If that was your response to our Cycle 3 Challenge but your innovation didn't fit with another Cycle 3 category, this is your category.


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Guidelines


Idea Submission Guidelines

Guidelines


Idea Submission Guidelines

The Call for White Papers for NASA iTech Cycle 3 opened on September 15, 2017 and closed on October 20, 2017. 


Formatting Instructions and Tips for White Paper Submissions

Submitters are responsible for the formatting and appearance of their 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).

  • White paper entries must be submitted in the English language
  • 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 (for example, Times, Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial for text; Symbol for mathematical symbols and Greek letters.)
  • The font size for the body of the paper should be 12 pt.

Your White Paper File MUST INCLUDE:

  • Title
  • Mailing address and contact information of your organization
  • Full name; names of all team members (Note: The "Team Name" as entered on the Entry Form is how we will refer to your organization in any media/press.)
  • If you are affiliated with a company or organization – their name
  • If you are affiliated with a government 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 3 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 3 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 the 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 as an appendix.

The compliance matrix DOES NOT count towards your page maximum.

Eligibility

NASA iTech is currently open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.

SUBMITTING YOUR PROPOSAL / WHITEPAPER

The Call for White Papers for Cycle 3 closed at midnight EDT on October 20, 2017.  For technical questions about entries, please contact thomas.flake@nianet.org


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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 and permanent residents only and 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. Entries must be submitted through the NASAiTech.com website during an advertised "Call for Papers" period. Emailed or mailed entries are not accepted and will not be evaluated.

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