ISS National Lab Releases Research Announcement Focused on In-Space Production Applications in Biomanufacturing

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 20, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory has unveiled a research announcement seeking proposals to demonstrate biomanufacturing activities in microgravity. Targeted fields such as tissue engineering and biomanufacturing provide use cases for how ISS National Lab-sponsored research may lead to new biological products and tools that benefit humankind and drive a sustainable market in low Earth orbit.

Advancing in-space production applications is a top strategic priority for both NASA and the ISS National Lab. Last week, NASA issued its own research announcement focused on in-space production applications that will make use of ISS National Lab flight resources and crew allocation. To identify and prioritize ISS research and development opportunities for in-space production applications in biomanufacturing, the ISS National Lab co-hosted a Biomanufacturing in Space Symposium. A perspective paper developed from the symposium may be accessed for free on Preprints.

This research announcement invites proposals in the area of in-space biomanufacturing for regenerative medicine and technologies associated with the manufacture of biocompatible products in microgravity for use on Earth. Suggested topics include:

  1. Projects designed to demonstrate the benefits of stem cell expansion and/or stem cell research in space for therapeutic applications on Earth.
  2. Projects designed to demonstrate an organoid culture or multicellular culture system in space to model human disease and/or test therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases on Earth.
  3. Projects to demonstrate or develop and demonstrate a system for in-space biofabrication of tissues or other biocompatible material for applications on Earth.

Multiple projects may be awarded through this research announcement, and funding is allocated to support mission integration and operations costs for awarded projects.

This research announcement will follow a two-step proposal submission process. Interested investigators must first submit a Step 1: Concept Summary by November 22, 2021. Investigators with approved concepts will then be invited to submit a Step 2: Full Proposal by February 14, 2022. All final awards, conditions, and contractual agreements will be brokered by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc., manager of the ISS National Lab.

The ISS National Lab will host a webinar to discuss available facilities and capabilities of the ISS National Lab on November 1 at 1 p.m. EST. To register for the webinar, please see the research announcement website. For those unable to attend, a recorded version of the webinar will be made available on the research announcement webpage.

For more information on this research opportunity, please visit the research announcement page. To learn more about the ISS National Lab and the science that it supports, please visit  www.ISSNationalLab.org.

About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: The International Space Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that enables research and technology development not possible on Earth. As a public service enterprise, the ISS National Lab allows researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to improve life on Earth, mature space-based business models, advance science literacy in the future workforce, and expand a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit. Through this orbiting national laboratory, research resources on the ISS are available to support non-NASA science, technology and education initiatives from U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) manages the ISS National Lab, under Cooperative Agreement with NASA, facilitating access to its permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space. To learn more about the ISS National Lab, visit www.ISSNationalLab.org.