• Innovators Wanted.

    Are you an entrepreneur, inventor or innovator with something that NASA should know about? Learn more about the program, how to apply and what other leaders have said about their experiences with NASA iTech.

    NASA iTech is a program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate working in collaboration with the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in support of the Agency’s Mission. This collaborative effort identifies and fosters innovative solutions that aim to solve challenges on Earth and also have the potential to solve some of NASA’s challenges agency-wide.



    1. For each cycle, we post specific focus areas inviting innovators to apply.
    2. Downselect to 25: All applications are reviewed by a special council and 25 are selected for the NASA's Center Chief Technologists to review. The 25 semifinalists are announced publicly. 
    3. Downselect to 10: The chief technologists select 10 to join a four-day NASA iTech forum. 
    4. At forums, innovators learn, practice, present and spend valuable time with NASA's Center Chief Technologists, investors and industry leaders. Here some examples of the final forum presentations.
    5. At the end of the forum, three innovators are announced as winners. They will get ongoing support from the NASA iTech team.

    Note: No official U.S. Government or NASA endorsement of non-Federal organizations, products, or services is intended or implied.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Who can participate in NASA iTech?

    Who owns the Intellectual Property for the idea(s) I submit?



    Formatting Guidelines

    NASA iTech is open to U.S. citizens and U.S.-based companies and is subject to all current International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) guidelines. NASA employees are not eligible, but are encouraged to participate in existing programs and opportunities within the agency aimed at fostering emerging technologies.

    By participating in NASA iTech, you agree that the idea you submit is your own and/or that you have the legal right to submit the idea. NASA iTech, its partners, including but not limited to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), do not claim rights to intellectual property submitted through this initiative.


    Idea submission/narrative formatting guidelines can be found below. Entries must be submitted through the NASA iTech website during an advertised "Call for Ideas" period. Emailed or mailed entries are not accepted and will not be evaluated.

    For additional information about participation, please contact Robin Ford, National Institute of Aerospace at robin.ford@nianet.org.


    For media inquiries, contact Harla Sherwood, National Institute of Aerospace at harla.sherwood@nianet.org.

  • Formatting Instructions and Tips for Narrative Submissions

    The most important part of your application is the narrative.

    Submitters are responsible for the formatting and appearance of their narrative abstract. Figures and tables must be placed in the file and therefore must be in digital format.


    We recommend that you use image file formats that provide acceptable resolution without being huge (for example, please don't use a 1-MB TIFF file when a 150-K GIF file will do).


    Narrative entries must be submitted in the English language

    • File size cannot exceed 50 MB
    • Five (5) pages maximum (including figures, tables and references)
    • A cover page is not required, but if your team chooses to use a cover page, it will not count toward the five-page limit.
    • Narratives should be single-spaced.
    • Please use fonts common to Macintosh and PC platforms (for example, Times, Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial for text; Symbol for mathematical symbols and Greek letters).
    • The font size for the body of the paper should be 12 pt.



    • Title
    • Mailing address and contact information of your organization
    • Full name; names of all team members (Note: The "Team Name" as entered on the Entry Form is how we will refer to your organization in any media/press)
    • If you are affiliated with a company or organization – their name
    • If you are affiliated with a government organization – their name
    • If you are affiliated with an accelerator or incubator – their name
    • If you are affiliated with a college or university – their name
    • If you are affiliated with or funded by an Angel group or VC Firm – their name



    For all idea submissions, attention should be given to the following:

    • The current “Technology Readiness Level” (TRL) level of your development – is it merely a theory or is it currently on the market as a product or is it somewhere in between?
    • Our judges will be asking themselves the following questions regarding your submittal in their evaluation:

    a. Which area of focus does the proposal seem to address?

    b. Does the development have the potential to break new ground in its field?

    c. Can the innovation go to market quickly (ideally within two years)?

    d. Is it clear how the business will generate money?

    e. Does the submitter clearly understand who the customer is?

    f. Does the submitter have the skills to succeed?

    g. Does the submitter have a clear path and milestones to succeed?

    h. Does the submitter have the right leadership?



    During the scoring process, NASA iTech Forum judges will need to ensure that teams address the expectations laid out in these guidelines. When developing your submittal, please verify that you have addressed all (a-h) of the elements above that the judges will be considering. A completed checklist must be included with your submittal as an appendix. The checklist DOES NOT count towards your page maximum.



    NASA iTech is currently open to U.S. citizens and U.S.-based companies.



    Entries may only be submitted through the NASA iTech website during an official "Call for Ideas."


    For technical questions about entries, please contact jen.consalvo@nianet.org


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