NASA iTech Challenge Kicks off in Las Cruces, New Mexico
October 8, 2019 – Las Cruces, New Mexico, October 7, 2019 – Ten companies are presenting cutting-edge technology ideas that could be used in space to NASA’s iTech program in Las Cruces today and Tuesday. The New Mexico Partnership is proud to support this iTech event to bring entrepreneurs together with NASA researchers, industry executives and investors.
An initiative by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, iTech aims to find innovative ideas that have the potential to overcome critical technology hurdles facing future exploration of the Moon and Mars, even though many were originally meant to solve important problems here on Earth. The three winners will receive ongoing feedback, guidance, and introductions to help propel their ideas.
“We’re excited to help bring NASA and iTech to Las Cruces, one of the state’s most vibrant communities and gateway to New Mexico’s Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic will soon commence commercial space launch operations, and the White Sands Test Facility. This event goes hand-in-hand with New Mexico’s commitment to cutting edge technology, pioneering scientific work, and commercial innovation,” said Tim Nitti, President & CEO of the New Mexico Partnership, New Mexico’s economic development organization charged with helping recruit companies to the state.
“Las Cruces, with its entrepreneurial spirit, economic development activities, universities, and NASA’s White Sands Test Facility, is a perfect location for our event,” said Kira Blackwell, the NASA iTech program executive for the Space Technology Mission Directorate.
NASA iTech searches for and identifies advancements in technologies that are solving problems on Earth and have the potential to address existing challenges to enable NASA missions. These ideas may come from independent innovators as well as small or large businesses, giving entrepreneurs an unique opportunity to present their solutions to NASA leadership or industry.
Ten innovators, selected from submissions received from around the world, will present their technologies to an audience of industry, universities, investors, professional societies, public, and NASA leadership, including chief technologists from various NASA centers. The 2019 NASA iTech Cycle II winners will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
For information on the cutting-edge technologies being presented in Las Cruces, visit https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/itech
A competitive selection process resulted in the selection of the top ten finalists who have the potential to commercialize their technologies and address the agency’s challenges.
The ten finalists presenting in Las Cruces are:
Alertgy – Melbourne, Florida
A wearable, continuous blood glucose monitor that provides accurate measurements without invasive probes or sensors.
Everix Inc. – Orlando, Florida
Ultra-thin, flexible and shatter-free optical filters for use in wearable and disposable point-of-care devices.
H-Trap One LLC – Las Cruces, New Mexico
An innovative coating that enables safe, novel and low-cost solutions to protect hydrogen pipeline infrastructure.
HE3DA USA Inc. – Reno, Nevada
Innovative energy storage for planetary surface power applications that reduces dependence on ancillary systems.
MyelinS – Munich, Germany
Cutting-edge software technology that allows communication and collaboration between robots in space and humans in space.
Nanobionic USA Inc. – New York, New York
A fabric that temporarily improves endurance, muscle strength and reduces fatigue.
OXOS Medical Inc. – Atlanta, Georgia
A digital, hand-held X-ray and fluoroscopy imaging device that runs on standard power, minimizes radiation exposure and is easy to operate.
PolyMaterials App LLC – Tampa, Florida
Innovative supercapacitors – a type of energy storage device – designed for applications ranging from consumer electronics to hybrid motor vehicles, power grids, and large appliances as well as power devices for space exploration.
Space Industries Pty Ltd. – Perth, Australia
A lunar mining vehicle to produce and return Helium-3 to Earth. The byproduct, water, could be used in-situ on the Moon for fuel, among other things.
SurgePower Materials Inc. – San Marcos, Texas
A prototype demonstrating a new method to cost-effectively manufacture graphene from the cassava crop. This could facilitate the adoption of graphene in advanced technology areas such as composites.