NASA Seeks Innovative Space Exploration Technology Ideas

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Expanding on the success of the first NASA iTech Forum held last December, the second cycle of the NASA iTech initiative opens today with a call for white papers summarizing ideas that may fill gaps in areas identified by NASA as having a critical impact on future space exploration.

The call for five-page white papers is the first phase of NASA iTech Cycle 2, part of a yearlong collaborative effort to find and foster innovative solutions from small and large businesses, universities, non-profits, U.S. government organizations outside of NASA and undiscovered inventors.

“The caliber of finalists presenting at the first iTech Forum was exceptional,” said Kira Blackwell, Innovation program executive in the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters, Washington. “This first cycle proved that remarkable solutions to our technical challenges could come from non-aerospace innovators as well.”

The technology focus areas for NASA iTech Cycle 2 are: Autonomy, Big Data – Data Mining and Machine Learning, Medical Systems and Operations and Radiation Protection and Mitigation. An additional category, X-Factor Innovations: Solutions for Unspecified Future Challenges, has been added for this cycle to allow for groundbreaking ideas or technology that may not align precisely with another specific focus area, but could still make a significant impact on future exploration efforts.

The NASA iTech white paper and application are designed to simplify the review process and make it easier for anyone with potential solutions to participate. A panel of subject matter experts will review the papers and down-select the top 10 finalists based on their relevance and potential impact in the technology topic areas.

The iTech platform provides innovators an opportunity to collaborate directly with the innovators.  The top 10 finalists will be invited to present their ideas to NASA’s top technologists, space industry leaders and potential investors at the 2017 NASA iTech Forum. The forum will be held at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia during Langley’s Centennial Celebration July 10-14, 2017.

NASA iTech is open from Feb. 23 through April 7 to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents via the NASA iTech website. NASA does not claim intellectual property rights to the ideas presented at the iTech Forum. NASA iTech is an initiative by the Office of the Chief Technologist and managed by the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Virginia.

For information about the NASA iTech initiative, visit:

For information about NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist, visit: