Thank you for participating in the NASA TechLeap Prize.
We recommend reading all requirements for this application before you begin and encourage you to review the Rules and scoring rubric that will be used to assess all valid applications.
Your entire application will be shared with others during the evaluation process. Portions of your applications may be published online and may be shared with the general public to promote your proposal or to highlight results. Those portions may include, but are not limited to: Lead Organization, Technology Title, Technology Description, and Video Pitch.
Applications must be submitted in English. The application saves automatically and the status of your application is available to view on your dashboard (you will not receive any automated emails). Contact us with questions or technical issues.
Prior to submission, confirm the information provided on the Registration Form is correct. Be sure to review your application as it will appear after it has been submitted (link at bottom of page). When you have completed all application requirements, a message will display on the screen with the option to submit your application. Once you have submitted the application, you will no longer be able to make changes.
You must submit your application no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, February 22, 2024.
Offer a brief and compelling overview of your technology. Avoid using jargon, abbreviations, or language that a layperson may not understand.
TECHNOLOGY TITLE (10 words)
Provide a title for your technology. Choose a name that easily identifies your solution and distinguishes it from any other technology.
TECHNOLOGY DESCRIPTION (50 words)
Provide a short description of your technology.
You are required to submit a video that captures your project and describes why it should be funded. The video is an opportunity to showcase your passion and to pitch your story in a succinct format. We want you to share your vision in a way that is different from the written proposal. This DOES NOT need to be a professionally produced video – a video shot on a smartphone is acceptable.
In order to complete this part of your application, upload a short digital film using YouTube. Video submissions should follow these guidelines, or it will render the application ineligible:
Here are general suggestions for delivering a high-quality video pitch:
The following information is required to capture a basic understanding of the leadership, structure, vision, and capabilities of the people working on this technology.
CAPABILITIES (250 words)
Describe the skills, capacity, and experience of you or your team to execute your plans to deliver a universal payload interface system that meets the Technical Guidelines of this challenge. Be sure to include core competencies and how they apply to your ideas for the challenge, any relevant past projects or experience, and any other additional details that support your ability to develop a flight-ready system that meets the Technical Guidelines of this challenge.
PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP, PERMANENT RESIDENCY, OR PRIMARY PLACE OF BUSINESS
In order to be eligible for an award, individuals must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States and be 18 years of age or older, and organizations must be an entity incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States. If you are selected as a potential Winner and you are an individual, you will be asked to provide proof of citizenship or permanent residency. If you are selected as a potential Winner and you are an organization, you will be asked to provide proof of the location of your primary place of business. Please confirm that you will be able to provide one of the options below:
PROOF OF LIABILITY INSURANCE
In order to participate in the TechLeap Prize, you must demonstrate that you have at least $250,000 liability insurance coverage. You will be asked to provide proof of your insurance coverage or otherwise demonstrate financial responsibility for that amount at the time you are selected as a potential Winner. See the Insurance Guidelines for additional details about this requirement. Do you have and are you able to provide proof of at least $250,000 liability insurance coverage or demonstrate financial responsibility at that amount?
Here is your opportunity to provide the details of your proposed solution for the Universal Payload Interface Challenge (UPIC). Be sure to emphasize how your ideas for creating a universal payload interface system align with the four criteria that will be used to assess each valid submission (see scoring rubric).
TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW (350 words)
This challenge focuses on developing an optimized interface system that enables easy integration of laboratory payloads, including scientific instruments and experiments, onto suborbital, orbital, and planetary lander vehicles. Specifically, NASA is seeking technologies that meet or exceed the specifications described in the Technical Guidelines. Describe your strategy and the technologies needed to create a universal payload integration system. How do your ideas address this challenge?
TECHNOLOGY BENEFITS (350 words)
Describe how the use of your system improves upon compatibility with common spaceflight interface requirements and adaptability to a diverse array of laboratory payloads and flight vehicles. Consider using quantitative figures of merit, with supporting data, to describe how the proposed technology will address SWaP-C while maintaining performance. Focus on how your universal interface system meets the Technical Guidelines that NASA has identified.
Upload a PDF that contains drawings, illustrations, schematics, charts, graphs, or other visual representations of the elements of your interface system. You must upload a single PDF file that does not exceed five pages. The maximum size of the file is 10MB. The PDF should not simply be a bullet-point summary of your solution. While the PDF may contain some additional text explaining your technology, it should primarily be visual and not be used to circumvent word counts on this submission. If it does, your submission may be disqualified.
INTERFACE DEVELOPMENT STATUS (350 words)
Explain how your system could be made ready to be used to integrate payloads in eight months. Consider sharing evidence to support your explanation. You may cite test results or other evidence by providing URLs.
NOTE: If you choose to provide URLs, they cannot be password protected. This information will be shared with judges and prize administrators so be mindful of what you share. It will primarily be used for due diligence on your technology. Judges are not required to read this content.
INTERFACE DEVELOPMENT PLAN (250 words)
Describe how you plan to turn your idea into a system that could be used to integrate a payload. Include how you intend to meet the requirements as outlined in the Technical Guidelines. Describe the components that make up your interface system and how you envision the elements and tools of the system working to provide more efficient interfacing among payloads and flight vehicles. Highlight any potential risks associated with your system development plan, as well as how you plan to mitigate these risks.
NOTE: NASA intends to offer the opportunity for a flight test at no additional cost to each of the Winners of the Performance Incentive Phase. This flight will provide functional testing of the system. If you have questions about the flight providers or the flight test, please contact us.
To learn more, see details in the Technical Guidelines.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY (250 words)
Explain who owns the intellectual property of your proposed technology. If you are building on existing or off-the-shelf technology, detail the permissions you have to use that technology. If you are part of a team, indicate which team members own the intellectual property.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS (150 words)
If your technology does not meet some of the requirements in the Technical Guidelines, describe why you have made the choices you did in proposing your technology. Your explanation may include how your technology better meets the overall objectives of the challenge, how your technology exceeds what the Technical Guidelines specify, or how aspects of your technology may need to be adjusted to be flight ready. This is also your opportunity to describe any outstanding issues that you could not explain in any other sections.
If your team is named a Winner, you will have eight months to build a flight-ready interface system. Use this section to describe your plan for successfully developing your technology in that timeframe.
PROJECT PLAN (200 words)
In bulleted chronological order, describe your project plan and the timeline needed to prepare your flight-ready interface system in eight months. Include a plan to mitigate any risks.
Enter the total cost to build and prepare your flight-ready interface system. NOTE: Winners will have the chance to win up to $650,000, including $150,000 during the Performance Incentive Phase, as well as the opportunity for access to a no-cost, NASA-sponsored flight to test the technology. Although the award amount is up to $650,000, the total cost may be more than, less than, or equal to that value.
Provide specific line items from the budget narrative above. You may include any cost categories, including contingencies for risk mitigation, that support the development of your technology. NOTE: Although the award amount is up to $650,000, this amount may be more than, less than, or equal to that value.
EXCESS COST NARRATIVE (200 words)
If the total cost to develop your technology exceeds $650,000, explain how you plan to fund the remaining costs. If your total cost does not exceed $650,000, enter “Not Applicable.”
If you are identified as a potential Winner, you will be asked to provide the following information prior to any Award being made:
Once your eligibility has been verified, and you have been named a Winner, please note the following: