IMG_20161206_090423272-1.jpg
viel nebula_heic0712b copy.jpg
P1050976_A.jpg
Top 10 Finalists.jpg
Blank_iTech_ITN_galaxy-banner-with-text.jpg
earth_at_night_iss040e090540.jpg
bubble_croman_big.jpg
1V4A0531.jpg
122373main_image_feature_366_ys_full.jpg
SanFran_downtown_panorama.jpg
SanFran_downtown_panorama.jpg
Lunarama.jpg
bubble_croman_big.jpg
1200b_navy satellite launch 01-20-2016.jpg
heic0822a.jpg
IMG_0471-Top 10 Teams Group photo.jpg
cropped_Mars Sunset 140155main_image_feature_481_ys_full.jpg
cropped_Mars Sunset 140155main_image_feature_481_ys_full.jpg
IMG_20161206_090423272-1.jpg

Past Cycles Intro


SCROLL DOWN

Past Cycles Intro


 

Learn more about our 2018 NASA iTech Cycle I winners and their innovative technologies.

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.

 
viel nebula_heic0712b copy.jpg

What NASA iTech Means for Winners


What Previous Winners Say about NASA iTech

What NASA iTech Means for Winners


What Previous Winners Say about NASA iTech

Winners of 2017 NASA iTech Cycle 2 comment on the value that it brings.

P1050976_A.jpg

2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy


2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Results

2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy


2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Results

Congratulations to our 2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Top Three Finalists

iFeather

Innovation: In-situ Fabrication of Extraterrestrial Aerogels for Transparency, Heat, and Energy Regulation (iFEATHER)
for Habitat, Aeronautic and Space Vessel, and Space Suit Applications
Challenge Area:  Innovative Power Management and Distribution (including smart grids and wireless power transfer)

Stanford University

Innovation: Two C: Transportation electrification through ubiquitous wireless charging
Challenge Area:  Innovative Power Management and Distribution (including smart grids and wireless power transfer)

WBGlobalSemi, Inc.

Innovation: Commercializing High Power Silicon Carbide (SiC) Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs)
and Power Modules for Power Management and Distributed Power Applications
Challenge Area:  Innovative Power Management and Distribution (including smart grids and wireless power transfer)

Top 10 Finalists.jpg

2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Top 10 Finalists


2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Top 10 Finalists

2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Top 10 Finalists


2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Top 10 Finalists

Congratulations to all of the 2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy finalists who presented their innovative technologies:

AsterTech, LLC - Beavercreek, Ohio
3D Additive Manufacturing of High Efficiency and Light-Weight Solar Cells for In-Space Applications
Focus Area:  Solar Power Systems

Ateios, Inc. - San Diego
Printed Batteries for Ubiquitous & Conformal Electronics
Focus Area:  X-Factor Energy: innovations so compelling NASA and ARPA-E should know about them

Atomos Nuclear and Space - Denver
Splitting the Atom to Connect the Planets: A Commercial Nuclear Power System for Space Operations
Focus Area:  Small Fission Power Systems

Environment and Energy Benefit Co. - West Sacramento, California
BBB: X Factor Liquid Fuel
Focus Area:  X-Factor Energy: innovations so compelling NASA and ARPA-E should know about them

iFeather - Boulder, Colorado
In-situ Fabrication of Extraterrestrial Aerogels for Transparency, Heat, and Energy Regulation (iFEATHER) for Habitat, Aeronautic and Space Vessel, and Space Suit Applications
Focus Area:  Innovative Power Management and Distribution (including smart grids and wireless power transfer)

The Pennsylvania State University - Department of Materials Science and Engineering - University Park, Pennsylvania
Lightweight Monolithic Microcell CPV for Space
Focus Area:  Solar Power Systems

Stanford University - Department of Electrical Engineering - Stanford, California
Two C: Transportation electrification through ubiquitous wireless charging
Focus Area:  Innovative Power Management and Distribution (including smart grids and wireless power transfer)

University of Michigan and Unified Solar Corporation - Ann Arbor
Photovoltaic Cell-Level Power Balancing Using Intrinsic Energy Storage for High-Efficiency, High-Reliability Solar Power
Focus Area:  Solar Power Systems

V-Glass - Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Vacuum Glass for R-10 Windows
Focus Area:  X-Factor Energy: innovations so compelling NASA and ARPA-E should know about them

WBGlobalSemi, Inc. - Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Commercializing High Power Silicon Carbide (SiC) Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and Power Modules for Power Managem ent and Distributed Power Applications
Focus Area:  Innovative Power Management and Distribution (including smart grids and wireless power transfer)

Blank_iTech_ITN_galaxy-banner-with-text.jpg

2018 Cycle 2 Focus Areas


2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Focus Areas

2018 Cycle 2 Focus Areas


2018 NASA iTech Cycle II Energy Focus Areas

1024px-Boeing_Fuel_Cell_Demonstrator_AB1.JPG

Fuel Cells and Regenerative Fuel Cells


Lithium_Ionen_Kondensator.jpg

High-energy Density Batteries and Supercapacitors


16x9Solar-power-systems-3a-2010-5897.jpg

Solar Power Systems


Nuclear_fission_chain_reaction.jpg

Small Fission Power Systems


16x9_TE2041.jpg

Innovative Power Management and Distribution (including smart grids and wireless power transfer)


16x9_Dark-Matter_Hubble_Abell_1689.jpg

X-Factor Energy Innovations


Image credits: 

earth_at_night_iss040e090540.jpg

2018 Cycle I Results


 

2018 NASA iTech Cycle I Results

 

 

2018 Cycle I Results


 

2018 NASA iTech Cycle I Results

 

 

 

Congratulations to our 2018

NASA iTech Cycle I

 

Top Three Finalists

 

 

FGC Plasma Solutions - Argonne, Illinois

Innovation: Novel Fuel Injectors to Enable Clean, Compact Propulsion.

Plasma-assisted fuel injectors for improved combustion in jet engines and gas turbines.

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

 

Germfalcon - Los Angeles

Innovation: Germfalcon - Germicidal UVC Emitting Robot for Commercial Aircraft.

A germicidal UVC product designed for airlines that eliminates viruses and bacteria known to cause disease on high-touch aircraft surfaces.

Challenge Area: Medical Breakthrough  

 

Somatic Labs - Phoenix

Innovation: Tactile Interfaces for Augmented Reality to Enhance Communication.

A design software and reference hardware that animates the human sense of touch.

Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement

 

2018 NASA iTech Cycle I finalists represented the best entries across the U.S. in the latest NASA iTech Forum held at Canon U.S.A. in Melville, NY on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2018.

 

Congratulations to all of the 2018 NASA iTech Cycle I finalists who presented their innovative technologies:

BioVirtua - San Francisco

Innovation: BioVirtua: Humanizing Telehealth in Four Dimensions

Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement

 

FGC Plasma Solutions - Argonne, Illinois

Innovation: Novel Fuel Injectors to Enable Clean, Compact Propulsion

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

 

Germfalcon - Los Angeles

Innovation: Germfalcon - Germicidal UVC Emitting Robot for Commercial Aircraft

Challenge Area: Medical Breakthrough


H2 Energy Now - Boalsburg, Pennsylvania

Innovation: New Technology for H2 Generation from Water in Space by Use of Electromagnetic Waves       

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation     

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies - Los Angeles      

Innovation: Augmented Voyage  

Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement    

iFirst Medical Technologies - Honolulu

Innovation: The iFirst Analyzer: Handheld Laboratory-grade Diagnostics Platform for Extreme Environments

Challenge Area: Medical Breakthrough

 

Million Concepts - Lemont, Pennsylvania

Innovation: The Arisian Lens: A Novel Solution for Low-cost, Lightweight Microscopy

Challenge Area: Medical Breakthrough

 

New Frontier Aerospace - Livermore, California

Innovation: Affordable, Powere ecover o mal aunc ehicles

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

 

Rice Technology - Milwaukee

Innovation: Smart Real-Time Multipurpose Sensor - Dissolved and Suspended Solids, Bacteria, Phosphorus and Viruses

Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation                 

Somatic Labs - Phoenix

Innovation: Tactile Interfaces for Augmented Reality to Enhance Communication

Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement

 

bubble_croman_big.jpg

2018 Cycle 1 Focus Areas


2018 Cycle I Focus Areas

2018 Cycle 1 Focus Areas


2018 Cycle I Focus Areas

The six challenge focus areas for NASA iTech's 2018 Cycle I were:


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? Those who you know how to teach machines to make the best decisions with limited data, would go far in 2018 Cycle I.


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.  The best ideas rose to the top.


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 the announcement of our 2018 Cycle I Focus Areas but your innovation didn't fit with another category, this was your category.


1V4A0531.jpg

2018 NASA iTech Cycle I Finalist Profiles


2018 NASA iTech Cycle I Finalist Profiles


2018 NASA iTech Cycle I Finalist Profiles

Learn more about the teams that completed in the NASA iTech Forum held at Canon USA Headquarters in Melville, New York on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2018. 


Click on a team's profile below to see video of that team's finalist presentation.


122373main_image_feature_366_ys_full.jpg

The Space Show


NASA iTech Featured on "The Space Show"

The Space Show


NASA iTech Featured on "The Space Show"

NASA iTech featured on "The Space Show."

Monday, October 23, 2017, Broadcast #3004

NASA iTech Program Executive, Kira Blackwell talks with host Dr. David Livingston about what makes NASA iTech a unique government initiative. We learn how inventors, investors, and NASA work together to find and nurture innovative technical solutions to challenges that face long-duration space exploration while also solving problems here on Earth.

Find it at http://www.thespaceshow.com/show/23-oct-2017/broadcast-3004-kira-blackwell

SanFran_downtown_panorama.jpg

NASA iTech Cycle 2 Winners Featured at ST&IF 2017


NASA iTech Winners at the Space Technology & Investment Forum

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.

SanFran_downtown_panorama.jpg

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.

Lunarama.jpg

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!

 

 

 

 

 
Context AI 5x7.jpg

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.

 

bubble_croman_big.jpg

2017 Cycle 2 Focus Areas


2017 Cycle 2 Challenge Focus Areas

2017 Cycle 2 Focus Areas


2017 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. 

1200b_navy satellite launch 01-20-2016.jpg

2017 Cycle 2 Process and Timeline


2017 Cycle 2 Timeline and Process

2017 Cycle 2 Process and Timeline


2017 Cycle 2 Timeline and Process

NASA iTech Cycle 2 Timeline.png

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.

 
heic0822a.jpg

2017 Cycle 2 Finalist Presentations


2017 NASA iTech Cycle 2 Forum

Finalist Presentations

2017 Cycle 2 Finalist Presentations


2017 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


IMG_0471-Top 10 Teams Group photo.jpg

2017 iTech Cycle 2 Forum Livestream


2017 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.

cropped_Mars Sunset 140155main_image_feature_481_ys_full.jpg

Cycle 1 Focus Areas


2017 Cycle 1 Focus Areas

Cycle 1 Focus Areas


2017 Cycle 1 Focus Areas

4-3-501299main_radiation_soho_lg.jpg

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:

 

cropped_Mars Sunset 140155main_image_feature_481_ys_full.jpg

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 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.