InnoCentive and NASA Offer Global Community Opportunity to Advance U.S. Space Program


New NASA Open Innovation Challenge Pavilion Leverages Crowdsourcing to Improve Health and Performance of Astronauts

InnoCentive, Inc., the open innovation provider, and NASA Johnson Space Center's (JSC) Space Life Sciences Directorate (SLSD) today announced a new NASA Open Innovation Pavilion providing the public with the opportunity to solve difficult problems in human health and performance facing the U.S. space program. Always pushing the boundaries of innovation, the NASA Space Life Sciences' work with InnoCentive is a key part in the implementation phase of the organization's new broader strategic planning initiative.

"Many people around the world did not previously have the opportunity to help solve some of the problems facing NASA," said InnoCentive CEO Dwayne Spradlin. "Now, anyone with interest and ability can impact how the U.S. explores the final frontier. NASA Space Life Sciences' commitment to open innovation is a testament to exploring solutions from any contributor."

NASA Space Life Sciences is pursuing new strategies, such as crowdsourcing, to achieve its goals for improved collaboration and open innovation. Open to InnoCentive's network of 200,000 Solvers, the NASA Open Innovation Pavilion currently offers awards for the solving of three Challenges focused on developing an exercise resistance mechanism, forecasting solar events and improving food packaging.

These three Challenges are the first in a series of life sciences Challenges focused on improving the health and performance of astronauts. They pose a new level of problem-solving and excitement to the InnoCentive Solver network, since these Challenges accompany a new set of solution development constraints. Because the Challenges exist in space, not on Earth, InnoCentive anticipates Solvers attempting to provide winning solutions will need to employ significant creativity.

Challenge 1: Improved Barrier Layers - Keeping Food Fresh in Space

Challenge 2: Develop a compact, effective aerobic and resistive exercise device

Challenge 3: Forecasting of Solar Events

"Providing more opportunities for collaboration is key to achieving Space Life Sciences goals," said Jeffrey R. Davis, M.D., director, Space Life Sciences, NASA Johnson Space Center. "Working with InnoCentive and other open innovation intermediaries allows us to draw from the broadest set of expertise to most effectively address the health and performance challenges of human spaceflight."

"Solutions generated within NASA's Open Innovation Pavilion may have implications beyond improving health and human performance during spaceflight," said Elizabeth E. Richard, senior strategist, Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group. "Solutions for spaceflight may have applications to Earth-based problems that could include new medical therapeutic and diagnostic devices, air and water quality monitoring, and even new food packaging strategies as described in one of the current challenges."

In the future InnoCentive will partner with additional NASA research centers, including Langley, to develop and post to the NASA Open Innovation Pavilion Challenges specific to their programs.

About NASA JSC's Space Life Sciences Directorate

The Space Life Sciences Directorate (SLSD) is an organization at JSC focusing on key areas of human space flight that include space medicine, biomedical research and human factors and environmental monitoring. Its mission statement is "To optimize human health and productivity for space exploration." All Space Life Sciences human health and countermeasures research, medical operations, habitability and environmental factors activities, and directorate support functions are ultimately aimed at achieving this mission. SLSD activities enable mission success, optimizing human health and productivity in space before, during and after the actual spaceflight experience of the flight crews, and include support for ground-based functions. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/.

About InnoCentive, Inc.

Since 2001, InnoCentive has helped corporate, government, and non-profit organizations to better innovate through crowdsourcing, strategic consulting services and internal Software-as-a-Service offerings. The company built the first global Web community for open innovation where organizations or "Seekers" submit complex problems or "Challenges" for resolution to a "Solver" community of more than 180,000 engineers, scientists, inventors, business professionals, and research organizations in more than 175 countries. Prizes for winning solutions are financial awards up to US $1,000,000. Committed to unleashing diverse thinking, InnoCentive continues to introduce new products and services exemplifying a new corporate model where return to investors and individual passion go hand in hand with solving mankind's most pressing problems. http://www.innocentive.com/.

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