NASA Seeks Proposals For Visionary Aerospace Concepts

Image Credit: NASA

Image Credit: NASA

August 3, 2016 – The 2017 NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program Phase I solicitation will be released on August 2. NASA is seeking innovative concepts to develop new aerospace mission architectures or to significantly enhance future aerospace missions with novel technology.

The NIAC program focuses on early studies of visionary concepts that address NASA’s or the nation’s goals but also offer radically different approaches or innovations to enable new missions or greatly enhance previous ones. NIAC concepts are often high-risk or far-term, but worth studying now to inform NASA’s investments and planning.

“I’m excited to see what we’ll get from this round of NIAC Phase I studies,” said Jason Derleth, NIAC program executive for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. “Last year we selected bold, new proposals like a concept for reprogramming microorganisms that could use the Martian environment to recycle and print electronics, and a two-dimensional spacecraft with ultra-thin subsystems that may wrap around space debris to enable de-orbiting. That’s the kind of far-sighted thinking we’re looking for.”

Successful proposals must demonstrate innovation, have clear potential impact in transforming future missions, employ a strategic technical approach for study, and demonstrate other non-technical benefits.

NIAC Phase I awards are valued at approximately $125,000 for up to nine months to support initial definition and analysis of their concepts. If the Phase I studies are successful, awardees can apply for Phase II awards, valued up to $500,000 for up to two additional years of concept development.

Proposers interested in submitting a proposal to NIAC are invited to participate in the NIAC Phase I Solicitation Virtual Q&A Forum via teleconference and WebEx on Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 2 p.m. EDT to learn key aspects of the 2017 NIAC Phase I solicitation. WebEx participation will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so please dial in a few minutes before the event start time.

Although the forum will be live, proposers are encouraged to submit questions in advance to hq-niac@mail.nasa.gov with the subject title “NIAC Virtual Forum.”

For more information about this event, including the dial-in and WebEx details, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/niac-phase-I-solicitation

The NIAC program, funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, nurtures visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions with the creation of breakthroughs — radically better or entirely new aerospace concepts — while engaging America’s innovators and entrepreneurs as partners in the journey.

For more information about the NIAC program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/niac