Message From The NASA Administrator: Help the Nation - Bring Your Ideas to NASA@WORK

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from employees across the agency who want to help the nation through this unprecedented time. These comments exemplify the prevailing, can-do spirit of NASA people and our willingness to take on any challenge.  
As the nation comes together to confront this crisis, we must look at every opportunity for NASA to lend a hand and increase our contribution to America’s response. We have unique capabilities—several of which are already being used to help combat COVID-19. We also have talented people and decades of experience finding solutions to complex problems.
NASA will continue to support the Administration and local response efforts by our field centers. Starting today, we’re also asking the NASA workforce for ideas of how the agency can leverage its expertise and capabilities to provide additional support. Using our internal crowdsourcing platform NASA@WORK, you can submit ideas for solutions relevant to COVID-19. Multiple ideas may be selected for follow-up and potential action.  
For this initial call, NASA leadership, working with the White House and other government agencies, determined three focus areas around personal protective equipment, ventilation devices, and monitoring and forecasting the spread and impacts of the virus. Other creative ideas are welcome, and as COVID-19 evolves, we may introduce additional topic areas to address the needs of the country.  
You can find more information about the NASA@WORK opportunity below and online. I encourage anyone with an idea to submit it within the next two weeks, as it could propel meaningful contributions to the COVID-19 response.
Thank you all in advance for bringing your ingenuity to the table and helping with something so important. And thank you to the Space Technology Mission Directorate for spearheading this effort on behalf of the agency and for the benefit of the nation.
Ad astra,
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NASA@WORK: How can NASA Best Support COVID-19 Response Efforts?
Topic Areas
NASA employees can submit ideas of how the agency’s capabilities and resources can be leveraged to address the following COVID-19 needs. Full problem statements for each area can be found on NASA@WORK.

·       Novel approaches to enable rapid, effective personal protective equipment: Submit ideas for the development of self-sanitizing personal protective equipment and other novel approaches for sterilizing or repurposing personal protective equipment. Proposed techniques or technologies should be effective, quick, readily implementable, and not affect the filtration, function, or fit of the original even after several cycles of decontamination.


·       Rapid design and prototyping of innovative ventilation devices: Suggestideas that focus on systems with simple interfaces that can be rapidly produced. Considerations may include designs that allow for rapid prototyping, expedited regulatory approval and quick manufacturing, or innovative public-private partnership solutions for the rapid delivery of ventilation devices.  

·       Forecasting COVID-19’s spread and its impacts on society and Earth:Propose innovative ways to use NASA data or data information products, data analytics, high performance computing, artificial intelligence, and/or other capabilities to predict the spread of COVID-19 and/or address the virus’s environmental, economic and societal impacts.

·       Other ideas within NASA’s mission: Submit solutions including but not limited to telemedicine, digital assistants to enable healthcare workers to monitor critically ill patients with light and lean architectures, telerobotics to remotely sustain industrial operations, non-contacting diagnostic sensors, and applications of human space exploration lessons learned in dealing with social isolation and blended work/home environments.

How to Participate
Log into NASA@WORK and click on “How can NASA Best Support COVID-19 Response Efforts?” Next, click the “Submit New Idea” button and follow the prompts. Be sure to read the challenge brief in its entirety before submitting to ensure your submission meets all the requirements. If you don’t have an idea, you can still participate by engaging in discussions. Provide feedback or build onto existing ideas by clicking the “Comment” icon of each submission.  
Next Steps
Given that solutions and actions to help with COVID-19 are urgent, ideas for initial consideration should be submitted by April 15. The agency will look for ways to match available resources with viable ideas to get them up and running. To the extent possible, NASA intends to make new designs resulting from this effort open source for any business or country to use.

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