NASA Calls for Future Space Exploration Ideas in ‘iTech’ Competition

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — A new cycle of the NASA iTech initiative kicks off today with a call for technical solutions to fill gaps in areas identified as having a critical impact on future space exploration.

The request for a five-page white paper is the first phase of 2018 NASA iTech Cycle III, part of a collaborative initiative to find and foster innovative solutions from small and large businesses, universities, non-profits, U.S. government organizations outside of NASA and undiscovered inventors.

“Over the last 18 months, NASA iTech has provided a forum for 40 entrepreneurs across the U.S. to present their innovative solutions to address some of the toughest challenges here on Earth and in space,” said Kira Blackwell, NASA iTech program executive for the Space Technology Mission Directorate. “This forum has proven to be a successful model for stimulating the development of groundbreaking technologies without the government being the early investor.”

The technology focus areas for 2018 NASA iTech Cycle III are: Big Data & Data Mining, Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Robotic Capabilities, Revolutionary Concepts for Communications, Medical Breakthroughs, and X-Factor innovations — which allows 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 process is open to innovators with potential solutions to participate. A panel of subject matter experts will review ideas submitted within the application window for Cycle III and down-select the top 10 finalists based on their relevance and potential impact in the technology focus areas.

The top 10 finalists will be invited to present their ideas to NASA’s top technologists, space industry leaders and potential investors at the NASA iTech Cycle III Forum, slated for late Oct. 2018.

Inventors and entrepreneurs can enter the 2018 NASA iTech Cycle III at through Aug. 31, 2018.

NASA iTech is an initiative by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and managed by the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia.

For information about the NASA iTech initiative, visit:

For information about the Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit: