Space Commerce

Funding Medical Products for Use on Earth and in Space

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
September 26, 2012
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Funding Medical Products for Use on Earth and in Space

Do you know of a small company developing a medical product that could be adapted to solve a health or human performance challenge in space? Have you developed a biomedical product for the space program that could also improve health on Earth?
The National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s Industry Forum is soliciting applications for the Space Medicine and Related Technologies Commercialization Assistance Program (SMARTCAP) award that provides support in moving a selected product toward commercialization. The 2013 SMARTCAP award will be for a maximum of $250,000 for a one-year period.

The deadline for submitting Stage-1 applications for this competitive two-stage proposal process is Nov. 5, 2012. Submission guidelines and more information about SMARTCAP are located at

“SMARTCAP provides an opportunity for a small company to broaden the reach of its product, developing new market prospects while addressing challenges faced by humans living and working in space,” said Dr. Dorit Donoviel, NSBRI deputy chief scientist and Industry Forum lead. “The proposed work should move the product along a commercialization path. Examples of desirable project goals are proof of concept studies, refinement of an existing prototype, or usability testing. The outcomes must have the potential to be impactful in space and for a target Earth population.”

NSBRI seeks to increase the impact of its support for SMARTCAP by requiring awardees to secure a 100-percent match in funding. Not only does this leverage resources, but it fosters active academic-industry collaborations and partnerships.

ACell, Inc., of Columbia, Md., and Enterade USA LLC of Newberry, Fla., each received SMARTCAP awards in 2012. ACell and Enterade are using the awards to develop their products to address wound healing and the effects of space radiation exposure on the gut, respectively.

NSBRI, funded by NASA, is a consortium of institutions studying the health risks related to long-duration spaceflight and developing the medical technologies and countermeasures needed for long missions. The Institute’s science, technology and education projects take place at more than 60 institutions across the United States. NSBRI partners with its Industry Forum to encourage commercialization of NSBRI-supported products and research and to challenge the private sector to develop space compatible health care solutions.


For more information about the NSBRI Industry Forum, please visit

For more information about NSBRI, please visit

CONTACT: Brad Thomas, NSBRI, +1-713-798-7595,

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.