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Past Cycles Intro


A Record of Success

SCROLL DOWN

Past Cycles Intro


A Record of Success

 
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Our challenge is to discover new approaches, concepts and technologies that solve critical technology gaps to enable human exploration to Mars and beyond. We do that by finding ideas that have a clear benefit to humanity here on Earth that can be rethought and vectored toward future space exploration efforts.

NASA iTech makes it easy for innovators with potentially groundbreaking solutions to get their most promising ideas heard by decision makers and technologists at NASA as well as the investment community. We eliminate red tape and IP issues by simplifying the entry process and allowing innovators to keep full control of their intellectual property.

Explore this archived section of our website to find information, images and inspiration from past NASA iTech Cycles.

 
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Copy of NASA iTech Cycle 2 Winners Featured at ST&IF 2017


NASA iTech Winners at the Space Technology & Investment Forum

Copy of NASA iTech Cycle 2 Winners Featured at ST&IF 2017


NASA iTech Winners at the Space Technology & Investment Forum

NASA iTech Cycle 2 Winners were recently featured as panelists at the Space & Technology Investment Forum in San Francisco, California.

NASA iTech Program Executive, Kira Blackwell hosted the panel, “NASA iTech as a Model for Stimulating Innovation.”

Panelists included NASA iTech Cycle 2 winners Sean Caffey, Co-Founder and Chairman, Context AI; Hadi Ghasemi, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston; Peter Kim, Vice President, Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.

Other experts on the panel included, Francisco Cruz, CBRN Consequence Management Advisory Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Jose Ocasio-Christian; Chief Executive Officer, Caelus Partners, LLC; and Harry Partridge, Center Chief Technologist, NASA Ames Research Center offered their unique perspectives on the value of the collaborative NASA iTech initiative for inventors, government, investors and space industry leaders. See the full panel session in the video below.

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Congratulations Cycle 2 Winners


Congratulations to NASA iTech's Cycle 2 top three winners!

 

 

 

Congratulations Cycle 2 Winners


Congratulations to NASA iTech's Cycle 2 top three winners!

 

 

 

 

 
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Context AI

Santa Clara, CA

Children's National Health System - Omniboros Team

Washington, DC

University of Houston

Houston, TX

 
NASA Chief Technologist, Douglas Terrier recognizes the winning teams at the NASA iTech Cycle 2 Forum on July 13, 2017.

NASA Chief Technologist, Douglas Terrier recognizes the winning teams at the NASA iTech Cycle 2 Forum on July 13, 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 were:


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


Cycle 2 Timeline and Process

Cycle 2 Process and Timeline


Cycle 2 Timeline and Process

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iTech Cycle 2 Process

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

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

  • Representatives of those top 10 innovations participated in the NASA iTech Forum at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia, July 10 - 14, 2017.** At the forum, 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 2 were announced at 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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Cycle 2 Finalist Presentations


NASA iTech Cycle 2 Forum

Finalist Presentations

Cycle 2 Finalist Presentations


NASA iTech Cycle 2 Forum

Finalist Presentations

Videos of the top ten NASA iTech Cycle 2 finalist's presentations were recorded live at the NASA iTech Forum on July 12 & 13, 2017 at the National Institute of Aerospace.

Archived versions of those presentations are below.

Welcome - Douglas Stanley,
President and Executive Director, National Institute of Aerospace (NIA)

Opening Remarks - Douglas Terrier,
NASA Headquarters  Acting Chief Technologist

Welcome - Kira A. Blackwell, NASA HQ Innovation Program Executive

Opening Remarks - Mark N. Sirangelo, SNC Corporate Vice President, Space Systems


Entrant: Aesop Technologies, Newport News, VA
Innovation: Aesop Nucleus
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations


 

Entrant: Audacy, Mountain View, CA
Innovation: Seamless and On-Demand Satellite Communications Architecture
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations


Entrant: Bitome, Boston, MA
Innovation: In Vivo Metabolism Monitoring by Miniaturized NMR Spectroscopy
Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations


Entrant: Context AI, Santa Clara, CA
Innovation: Diagnostic Digital Biomarkers
Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations


 

Entrant: Fiplate, Las Vegas, NV
Innovation: Tissue Regeneration After Radiological and Acute Trauma in Space
Challenge Area: Radiation Protection and Mitigation


 

Entrant: Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
Innovation: Autonomous Operations of Large-Scale Satellite Constellations and Ground Station Networks
Challenge Area: Autonomy


 

Entrant: PacSci EMC, Chandler, AZ

Innovation: Modular Architecture Propulsion System (MAPS™)
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations


 

Entrant: QuantumStack, Suffolk, VA
Innovation: Decentralized Global Computer Network
Challenge Area: Big Data


 

Entrant: Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System (Omniboros Team), Washington, DC
Innovation: Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) for Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Unmet Needs
Challenge Area: Autonomy


 

Entrant: University of Houston, Houston, TX
Innovation: Biologically Inspired Adaptive Anti-Icing Surfaces
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations


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iTech Cycle 2 Forum Livestream


iTech Cycle 2 Forum Livestream


Final presentations of the top ten NASA iTech Cycle 2 finalists were video streamed live to the web. You can watch archived copies of those presentations by clicking the button below.

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Cycle 1 Focus Areas


2016 Cycle 1 Focus Areas

Cycle 1 Focus Areas


2016 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:

 

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Cycle 1 Timeline


2016 NASA iTech

Cycle 1 Timeline

Cycle 1 Timeline


2016 NASA iTech

Cycle 1 Timeline

 

proposed timeline - subject to modification

NASA’s iTech cycle unfolds over the course of six months, with the end of one cycle finishing as the next cycle begins.  The cycle proceeds through several distinct phases:

 

Stages One and Two - Identify Best Potential Opportunities for Impact

NASA and its large contractors came together in July 2016 for a Showcase of Innovation Challenges to identify gaps in the current state of technology that need to be filled to enable the next generation of exploration to Mars and beyond. This workshop highlighted long-range technology challenges NASA faces that are not currently under development by the agency or have yet to be solved.

Videos from the Showcase of Innovation Challenges are linked below.

After the Showcase of Innovation Challenges, NASA's Mission Directorates selected the top areas of innovation challenges arising from that showcase.


The 2016 (Cycle 1) NASA iTech challenge focus areas were:

Crew Health – Medical Systems & Operations

Specific Challenge: This innovation challenge seeks to complement or jump-start NASA’s current or planned investments in:

  • Exploration Lab Analyses Technologies (compact, low power, analytic devices to support healthcare in the field
  • Flexible Ultrasound Technologies/Modalities (non-traditional uses of ultrasound in medical imaging and treatment)
  • Food and Pharmaceutical Technologies (extended life formulations or packaging; in situ production
  • Assisted Medical Decision Support (compact exercise devices and/or wearable technologies with autonomous physiological and/or behavioral monitoring, advising, and motivating tools)
  • Augmented Reality Platforms (to virtual worlds for medical, physiological,   and/or physical training)

Radiation – Detection & Mitigation

Specific Challenge: This innovation challenge topic seeks to complement and support NASA’s current investments in radiation detection technologies by identify and developing precision radiation detectors. This challenge also includes a call for research results and pharmaceutical agents which support the control or mitigation of space radiation health risks.


Earth Sciences – Greenhouse Gas Measurements

Specific Challenge: This innovation challenge seeks to achieve very high resolution measurements of key greenhouse gases, which includes CO, CO2, CH4, NO2, O3, and others: measuring 3D tropospheric winds at unprecedented resolution.


Propulsion – Energy Storage Technologies

Specific Challenge: This innovation challenge topic seeks to complement NASA’s current investments in electrified propulsion by focusing on research in high specific-energy storage technologies to address the stringent weight requirements highlighted above for aircraft propulsion applications.


LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEMS – INCREASED RECOVERY OF OXYGEN 

Specific Challenge: This innovation challenge topic seeks to explore new methods to increase the recovery of oxygen (O2) from the carbon dioxide (CO2) exhaled during crew respiration.


Stage Three - Gather Ideas Through Call For White Papers

On September 21, 2016 NASA iTech issued a call on for white papers seeking potential solutions to meet those top challenges. The deadline for submitting the five-page white paper outlining proposed technology solutions was October 17, 2016.

 

Stages Four and five - evaluate and Select top white papers

A panel of subject matter experts identified by the National Institute of Aerospace reviewed all submissions. This panel worked with NASA iTech staff to identify the top solutions from eligible papers submitted by the deadline. The top 25 submissions were announced on November 2, 2016.

Those top 25 ideas were further analyzed and evaluated by NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist. On November 21, 2016, the top 10 finalists were announced and representatives from those top 10 technologies/innovations were invited to present their ideas at NASA’s iTech Forum, scheduled December 5-8, 2016 at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The National Institute of Aerospace worked with the semifinalists in preparation for the presentation at the iTech Forum, in Washington D.C. Travel and accommodations to Washington D.C. are provided by NASA iTech for these top ten finalists.

 

Stage Six - NASA iTech Forum

The NASA iTech Forum is an opportunity for connecting with NASA representatives and the agency's largest contractors as the Top 10 finalists convene at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Held December 5-8, 2016, the forum was a collaborative effort where NASA iTech finalists and Council members worked together to identify opportunities to help the finalists take the selected innovations to scale.  The NASA iTech Council will bring into play expertise, network and resources to help execute this.

Finalists spent the first days of the forum networking and working with mentors to further sharpen and refine their ideas. The forum culminated as each of the 10 finalists (innovators/companies) shared their innovation with experts from NASA, academia and the space industry.

On Thursday, December 8, 2016 the NASA iTech Forum concluded as the top three innovations were announced during the event awards ceremony.

The top three innovations were (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

 

 

 

Stage Seven - Development Kickoff

The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) is working with the top winners of the 2016 NASA iTech Forum to develop a customized year-one implementation plan and a customized five-year (long-term) plan to further develop the innovation toward real-world use.