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Early Stage Innovations (ESI)


Friday, June 12, 2015

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) hereby solicits proposals from accredited U.S. universities for innovative, early-stage space technology research of high priority to NASA’s Mission Directorates.

This specific Appendix is titled Early Stage Innovations (ESI) and is one of three calls for proposals from STMD’s Space Technology Research Grants (STRG) Program. Early Career Faculty (ECF) appears as Appendix B1 under the SpaceTech-REDDI NRA, and the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships (NSTRF) is a separate solicitation.

This Appendix seeks proposals on specific space technologies that are currently at low Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). Investment in innovative low-TRL research increases knowledge and capabilities in response to new questions and requirements, stimulates innovation, and allows more creative solutions to problems constrained by schedule and budget. Moreover, it is investment in fundamental research activities that has historically benefited the Nation on a broader basis, generating new industries and spin-off applications.

Our Nation’s universities couple fundamental research with education, encouraging a culture of innovation based on the discovery of knowledge. Universities are, therefore, ideally positioned to both conduct fundamental space technology research and diffuse newly-found knowledge into society at large through graduate students and industrial, government, and other partnerships. STMD investments in space technology research at U.S. universities promote the continued leadership of our universities as an international symbol of the country's scientific innovation, engineering creativity, and technological skill.

This ESI Appendix challenges universities to examine the theoretical feasibility of new ideas and approaches that are critical to making science, space travel, and exploration more effective, affordable, and sustainable.

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