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NASA iTech Selects Top 25 Semifinalists in Innovation Competition

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
November 28, 2017
Filed under ,

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA iTech has selected 25 of the most promising ideas submitted by innovators across the U.S. as semifinalists in Cycle 3.

NASA’s iTech is an initiative by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) to find innovative ideas that address important problems here on Earth and also hold great potential to overcome critical technology hurdles in future space exploration. Those ideas may come from small or large businesses, academia, and other government organizations that may not have previously had a forum to present their solutions to NASA leadership or their industry partners.

“It’s always exciting to see the ideas that the top 25 semifinalists submit for each Cycle. The creativity and potential these entrepreneurs propose, to address some of space exploration’s toughest technical objectives are always very impressive,” said Kira Blackwell, NASA iTech program executive for STMD. “These entries also reflect groundbreaking approaches that could solve important problems here on Earth within our focus areas.”

In September, NASA iTech issued a call for solutions within focus areas including Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality Advancement, Autonomy, High Performance Computing and Medical Breakthrough. The popular NASA iTech Cycle 2 category, X-Factor Innovations, also returned in Cycle 3 to allow for trailblazing ideas or technologies that may not align precisely with another specific focus area, but could still make a significant impact on future exploration efforts.

A panel of subject matter experts representing NASA will now review the top 25 Cycle 3 semifinalist entries based on their relevance, likelihood of success, and potential positive impact on space exploration and life on Earth.

The top ten finalists for NASA’s iTech Cycle 3 will be announced on Dec. 18. These finalists will be invited to present their ideas to NASA’s chief technologists, space industry leaders and potential investors at the NASA iTech Cycle 3 Forum to be held at Canon U.S.A. in Melville, New York, on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 2018.

The top 25 NASA iTech Cycle 2 semifinalists are (in alphabetical order):

AdvancingX – Rocklin, California
Innovation: Organizational Team Index & Motion Analysis Key Indicators
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

BI Tech – Business Integra Technology Solutions – Houston, Texas
Innovation: SG200 Space Computer
Challenge Area: High Performance Computing

BioVirtua – San Francisco, California
Innovation: BioVirtua: Humanizing Telehealth in Four Dimensions
Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement

BluHaptics – Seattle, Washington
Innovation: Augmented​ ​Telerobotics:​ ​Key​ ​Enabler​ ​to​ ​Commercialization​ ​of​ ​Space
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

Bubble Base – Pasadena, California
Innovation: 3D Printed Bubble Base for Space
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

FGC Plasma Solutions – Argonne, Illinois
Innovation: Novel Fuel Injectors to Enable Clean, Compact Propulsion
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

Georgia Tech & Aurora Flight Sciences – Atlanta, Georgia
Innovation: Autonomous Parabolic Laboratory
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

Germfalcon – Los Angeles, California
Innovation: Germfalcon – Germicidal UVC Emitting Robot for Commercial Aircraft
Challenge Area: Medical Breakthrough

Green Fortress Engineering (GFE) – Greensburg, Indiana
Innovation: Orthogonal Loops in a Circular Cislunar Economy
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

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, California
Innovation: Augmented Voyage
Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement

iFirst Medical Technologies – Honolulu, Hawaii
Innovation: The iFirst Analyzer: Handheld Laboratory-grade Diagnostics Platform for Extreme Environments
Challenge Area: Medical Breakthrough

InnoStudio – SpeedyNano Team – San Diego, California
Innovation: Nanoization to Develop Hydroponic Cultures
Challenge Area: Medical Breakthrough

International Game Technology (IGT) – San Ramon, California
Innovation: NASA Interactive Portal (NIP)
Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement

LOOK – Lafayette, Indiana
Innovation: Junior Tube & LOOK Combined: Visual Resources to Overcome Challenges
Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement

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, Powered​ ​Recovery​ ​for​ ​Small​ ​Launch​ ​Vehicles
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

OncoTab – Charlotte, North Carolina
Innovation: A Monitoring Strategy for the Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer in High-Risk Individuals
Challenge Area: Medical Breakthrough

PHR Plus – Phoenix, Arizona
Innovation: Connected Health Tools
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

QT Team – Houston, Texas
Innovation: Utilizing Quadrant Theory for Long-Duration Human Spaceflight
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

Rice Technology – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Innovation: Smart Real-Time Multipurpose Sensor – Dissolved and Suspended Solids, Bacteria, Phosphorus and Viruses
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

Senstone – San Francisco, California
Innovation: Senstone: 21st-century Diary Suited for Spacecraft
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

Somatic Labs – Phoenix, Arizona
Innovation: Tactile Interfaces for Augmented Reality to Enhance Communication
Challenge Area: Augmented Reality Advancement

SpaceFlow – San Diego, California
Innovation: Pump-free Flow Reactor
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

University of Arkansas – CPMC Team – Fayetteville, Arkansas
Innovation: Cyber-physical Manufacturing Cloud for Space Manufacturing
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

For information about the NASA iTech initiative, visit:

For information about NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit:

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