Overview of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program

Author: Ronald Turner, Distinguished Analyst, Analytic Services (ANSER)

Description: The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program nurtures visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions with the creation of breakthroughs — radically better or entirely new aerospace concepts — while engaging America’s innovators and entrepreneurs as partners in the journey. NIAC projects study innovative, technically credible, advanced concepts that could one day “Change the Possible” in aerospace. NIAC supports innovative research through two phases of study, both competitively awarded. The Phase I studies are for nine-month efforts to explore the overall viability of visionary concepts. Phase II studies further develop the most promising Phase I concepts for up to two years, and explore potential infusion options within NASA and beyond. Phase III are awarded to a select few Fellows to support those concepts that have a high potential for transition to an immediate sponsor. While NIAC seeks innovators with a passion for changing the possible, it is sometimes difficult for them to frame their concept in a way that is within NIAC’s scope. This presentation will provide a quick look at many of the NIAC studies funded recently and relevant to IRG. It will also touch on what is needed to be competitive in NIAC.