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Top Ten 2017 NASA iTech Finalists Announced

· News Release

Innovators behind the top ten entries in NASA iTech’s latest call for ideas have been selected and invited to participate as finalists in the 2017 NASA iTech Forum. NASA iTech is a collaborative effort to find and foster innovative solutions that aim to solve challenges on Earth and also have the potential to solve some of NASA's challenges for deep space exploration.

At the NASA iTech Forum, leaders from NASA and prospective stakeholders have the opportunity to evaluate the most promising ideas submitted by small and large businesses, universities, non-profits, U.S. government organizations outside of NASA and undiscovered inventors from across the U.S. Entrants outlined potential solutions within challenge focus areas including Autonomy, Big Data: Data Mining and Machine Learning, Medical Systems and Operations, and Radiation Protection and Mitigation. A fifth category, X-Factor Innovations: Solutions for Unspecified Future Challenges allows for entries that may not fit within another focus area, but clearly demonstrate the potential to fill a critical need for NASA and humans on Earth.

A panel of subject matter experts representing NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist selected the finalist entries based on their relevance, likelihood of achievement and potential positive impact to both space exploration and life on Earth.

The top ten finalist’s presentations are scheduled on July 12 - 13 at the NASA iTech Forum, which will be held at the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia in conjunction with NASA’s Langley Research Center’s Centennial celebration.

"Innovation is critical to developing the breakthrough technologies we'll need to reach our space exploration goals, but we don't have to tackle these challenges alone. We are discovering remarkable ideas and inventions in the commercial market from non-aerospace innovators that may also provide solutions to our technical challenges," said Kira Blackwell, Innovation program executive in the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters.

Teams representing the top three solutions selected at the end of the forum will receive special recognition during an awards ceremony on July 13 and will be available for press opportunities after the awards are announced. RSVPs for the 2017 NASA iTech Forum should be sent to Robin Ford. Media wishing to attend should contact Gina Anderson by July 10 to preregister.

The top ten NASA iTech Cycle I finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Aesop Technologies, Newport News, Virginia
Innovation: Aesop Nucleus
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

Audacy, Mountain View, California
Innovation: Seamless and On-Demand Satellite Communications Architecture
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovation

Bitome, Boston, Massachusetts
Innovation: In Vivo Metabolism Monitoring by Miniaturized NMR Spectroscopy
Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations

Context Medical, Santa Clara, California
Innovation: Diagnostic Digital Biomarkers
Challenge Area: Medical Systems and Operations

Fiplate, Las Vegas, Nevada
Innovation: Tissue Regeneration After Radiological and Acute Trauma in Space
Challenge Area: Radiation Protection and Mitigation

Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
Innovation: Autonomous Operations of Large-Scale Satellite Constellations and Ground Station Networks
Challenge Area: Autonomy

PacSci EMC, Chandler, Arizona
Innovation: Modular Architecture Propulsion System (MAPS™)
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

QuantumStack, Suffolk, Virginia
Innovation: Decentralized Global Computer Network
Challenge Area: Big Data

Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System (Omniboros Team), Washington, DC
Innovation: Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) for Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Unmet Needs
Challenge Area: Autonomy

University of Houston, Houston, Texas
Innovation: Biologically Inspired Adaptive Anti-Icing Surfaces
Challenge Area: X-Factor Innovations

NASA iTech is an initiative by NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist 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:

For more information about the National Institute of Aerospace, visit:

Timothy Allen
National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, Va.

Gina Anderson
NASA Headquarters, Washington

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