Press Release

Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship and NASA Partner for the 2008 Rice Business Plan Competition

By SpaceRef Editor
January 19, 2008
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Rice Alliance Announces the $20,000 NASA Earth/Space Life Science Innovation Award for the 2008 Business Plan Competition

The Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) of Rice University has teamed with NASA on the 2008 Rice Business Plan Competition. NASA is sponsoring a new $20,000 cash prize for the 2008 Competition, the NASA Earth/Space Life Sciences Innovation Award. The $20,000 cash prize will be awarded to the team with the best business plan that presents a life sciences technology which has application to both the NASA space life science program and to Earth-based activities.

For decades, the NASA space program has been a source of technology advances which provide benefits not only in space, but also on Earth. This award continues that tradition, said Brad Burke, Managing Director, Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship.

The NASA Earth/Space Life Science Innovation Award will encourage development of commercial technologies that can address the physiological and medical challenges of space flight and increase the awareness of the contributions being made by the NASA Johnson Space Center to the biomedical community, the Houston region, and to the overall success of the space program, said Jeffrey R. Davis, MD, Director, Space Life Sciences.

Teams that will be considered for the $20,000 NASA Earth/Space Life Sciences Innovation Award must have a business plan related to technology commercialization that has applicability to the NASA space program (with some type of application on Earth) in the area of life sciences. Examples include:

  • Technology innovations that address:
  • Bone loss and osteoporosis
  • Cardiovascular alterations and cardiac problems
  • Sleep problems, human performance factors, and chronobiology (biorhythms)
  • Radiation Effects
  • Muscle Changes and muscular atrophy
  • Neurobehavioral and psychosocial factors
  • Nutrition, physical fitness, and rehabilitation
  • Neurovestibular adaptation (inner ear and balance)
  • Smart medical devices: remote medical care/telemedicine
  • Technology development; transportable diagnostic devices, minimally or non-invasive tools, and low-power/self-powered devices
  • Biomedical and environmental health technologies
  • Human factors engineering, habitability design, and human-robotics interaction technologies

Michele Brekke, Director of NASA JSC Technology Transfer Office, NASA Johnson Space Center, said. We are very pleased to be partnering with the Rice Alliance to support the 2008 Rice Business Plan Competition. The Competition brings business and engineering students together with investors, to support the commercialization of the latest technology developments to create new start-up companies.

By partnering with the Rice Alliance, NASA will increase awareness on the role NASA plays in driving technology innovations which have benefits on Earth; therefore, educating students, faculty, and the general public on how research and innovations provide greater societal benefits.

The winner of the NASA Award will also qualify to compete for the overall Grand Prize at the 2008 Rice Business Plan Competition. The Grand Prize winner will receive up to $200,000 in equity investment, $20,000 in cash, plus over $100,000 in mentoring and incubation services. The total potential value of the cash and prizes to the winner is over $300,000.

The 2008 Rice Business Plan Competition will take place on April 3-5, 2008. The competition, hosted by Rice Alliance, has grown to be one of the largest and richest intercollegiate MBA/graduate-level business plan competitions in the world hosting 36 teams from around the world and 150 judges from the business community. In 2008, more than $600,000 in total cash and prizes will be announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night, April 5, 2008 at the Intercontinental Hotel.

About the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship (Rice Alliance) is Rice University’s flagship initiative devoted to the support of technology entrepreneurship. The Rice Alliance is a strategic alliance among the Brown School of Engineering, the Jones Graduate School of Management, and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences.

Since its inception in late-1999, the Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of over 210 new technology companies, which have raised more than $300 million in early stage funding. Of these, approximately twenty companies have been launched based on technology developed by Rice faculty and researchers and licensed from the Rice Office of Technology Transfer.

In October, 2007 the Rice Alliance was recognized as the leading university entrepreneurship center in the United States for the creation of successful new enterprises by the National Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (NCEC). The mission of the Rice Alliance is to support the creation of technology-based companies and the commercialization of new technologies. The Rice Alliance provides entrepreneurs with a collaborative network and forum for support, education, and exchange of ideas. It offers entrepreneurs access to the human and financial capital needed for success.

About NASA

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SpaceRef staff editor.