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NASA iTech Selects Top 25 Semifinalists in Energy Competition

· News Release

NASA iTech today announced the selection of 25 of the most promising ideas submitted by innovators across the United States as semifinalists in the 2018 NASA iTech Cycle II-Energy.

NASA 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.

NASA has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency‑Energy (ARPA-E) on this unique NASA iTech competition to identify transformational technologies to improve how energy is generated, distributed and stored to the benefit of both space exploration and life on Earth. These game-changing 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.

“Making it into the top 25 as a semifinalist for a NASA iTech cycle is no easy feat for the entrepreneurs. The quality and creativity of the proposals we receive to address some of space exploration’s toughest technical objectives are always very impressive, and it’s tough to make the cut,” said Kira Blackwell, NASA iTech program executive for STMD. “This cycle is unique, as it addresses groundbreaking approaches within energy-specific focus areas that could solve important problems here on Earth and in the space community.”

In March, the NASA iTech Challenge issued a call for ideas within energy focus areas such as Fuel Cells and Regenerative Fuel Cells; High-energy-density Batteries and Supercapacitors; Solar Power Systems; Small Fission Power Systems; Innovative Power Management and Distribution (including Smart Grids and Wireless Power Transfer); and X-Factor Energy.

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


The top 10 finalists for Cycle II-Energy will be announced on May 25. These finalists will be invited to present their ideas to NASA and DOE leadership, space industry leaders, and potential investors at the NASA iTech Cycle II-Energy Forum to be held at Citi’s global headquarters in New York City, June 11-14.

The top 25 2018 NASA iTech Cycle II-Energy semifinalists are (in alphabetical order):

AGPower92 - Poway, California
Improve Space and Terrestrial Power Systems

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

ATEIOS - La Jolla, California
Printed Batteries for Ubiquitous & Conformal Electronics

ATOMOS - Denver
Splitting the Atom to Connect the Planets: A Commercial Nuclear Power System for Space Operations

Birmingham Technologies - Arlington, Virginia
The Nano-Boxx: A Nanoscale Energy Harvester

Cactus Materials, Inc. - Tempe, Arizona
Nanoengineered Li7La3Zr2O12 (LLZO) thin film solid state batteries on roll-to-roll manufacturing for EV Vehicle

Castor Air 2 Electricity and Water Solutions Inc. - Chelsea, Massachusetts
Onsite Air to Electricity & Water Multiplier Microgrid

Environment and Energy Benefit Co. - West Sacramento, California
BBB: X Factor Liquid Fuel

Gilman Industries, LLC - East Northport, New York
Alternate Polymer-Based H2 from Tap Water Electrolyzer

HE3DA USA - Redondo Beach, California
Innovative 3D Nanotechnology for Energy Storage

Howe Industries, LLC - Tempe, Arizona
Ion Enhanced Thermoelectric Generator (ITEG)

Idaho National Laboratory - Idaho Falls, Idaho
Remediation of Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Ground and Water Using a Novel Trace Element Humate Surfactant Solution (TEHS)

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

Ion Power Group, LLC - Navarre, Florida
Nanomaterial Breakthrough Generates Electricity Day & Night on Earth & Mars

Lugar Center for Renewable Energy - Indianapolis, Indiana
Complete Hydrogen Storage Systems by ISRU

MCE Nexus - Dublin, Ohio
A Materials-Chemistry-Energy Nexus for Lunar, Planetary and Asteroid (LPA) Systems: High Energy Density Silane Based Fuels

NT Ionics - Boulder, Colorado
High Performance Ceramic Electrolyte for High Energy Density and All Solid-State Lithium Batteries

OptiCOMP Networks - Attleboro, Massachusetts
Rapid Wafering of Wide Bandgap Substrates

The Pennsylvania State University - Department of Materials Science and Engineering - University Park, Pennsylvania
Lightweight Monolithic Microcell CPV for Space

Power System Engineers - Chula Vista, California
Orbital Observation, Data Collection and Analysis of Power Consumption

Stanford- Department of Electrical Engineering - Stanford, California
Two C: Transportation electrification through ubiquitous wireless charging

Solar Under Transmission with Shared Ownership (SUTSO) - Gaithersburg, Maryland
Solar Under Transmission with Shared Ownership

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

V-Glass - Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Vacuum Glass for R-10 Windows

WBGlobalSemi, Inc. - La Honda, California
Commercializing High Power Silicon Carbide (SiC) Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and Power Modules for Power Managem ent and Distributed Power Applications

For information about the NASA iTech initiative, visit:


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


For information about DOE’s ARPA-E, visit:

Gina Anderson
Headquarters, Washington

Harla Sherwood
National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Va.

Jessica Szymanski
Department of Energy, Washington

Danielle Romero-Apsilos
Citi Communications & Public Affairs

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