Status Report

NASA Seeks Phase I Innovative Advanced Aerospace Concepts

By SpaceRef Editor
August 2, 2017
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The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program is seeking Phase I proposals for 2018 through a solicitation released on August 2. The NIAC Program focuses on early studies of visionary concepts that address NASA’s and the nation’s goals and offers radically different approaches or leapfrog innovations to enable new missions or greatly enhance previous ones.
“NIAC concepts are often high-risk or far-term, but worth studying to inform NASA’s investments and planning,” said Jason Derleth, NIAC program executive for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD). “A concept typically includes new technology and it’s important that it be framed in a mission context.”
The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) for Phase I concepts should be TRL 2 or lower. The proposals will be evaluated using a two-step review process: a brief Step A proposal open to all applicants, and an expanded Step B for those that are invited. Concepts proposed in Step A must be: an aerospace architecture; proposed in a mission context; innovative and offer high potential Impact; and credible and reasonable.
Step B proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:  innovation; potential impact of the concept; technical approach; and as a result of performing the study, there will be notable benefits that contribute to its specific field, even if the concept is shown infeasible. The Appendix describes both processes in detail.
NIAC Phase I awards are valued at approximately $125,000 for up to nine months to support initial definition and analysis of their concepts. If the Phase I studies are successful, awardees can apply for Phase II awards, valued up to $500,000 for up to two additional years of concept development.
NIAC will release a separate Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion (REDDI) Appendix soliciting Phase II proposals at a later date, with sufficient time for eligible Phase I Fellows awarded in this solicitation to apply for follow-on support of up to two more years of study and development.
The NIAC program is a part of STMD. STMD is responsible for developing the crosscutting, pioneering, new technologies and capabilities needed by the agency to achieve its current and future missions.
For the complete guidelines for 2018 NIAC Phase I solicitation proposal submissions, visit:{B21E1E30-ED1B-E59F-04F9-A7E1E36DBF59}
For more information about the NIAC program, visit:
For more information about NASA’s investments in space technology, visit:
Proposal due date: September 13, 2017 5:00pm ET

SpaceRef staff editor.