For Business

Eligibility


SMARTCAP

SMARTCAP Criteria

NSBRI seeks products that will enable safe and productive human space flight and can be implemented in the space environment. Generally, technologies of value in space flight address an important medical issue for astronauts and are small, power-efficient, non-invasive, and easy-to-use. To learn more about what makes a product appropriate for use in space, please review these brief summaries of SMARTCAP grant recipients: SMARTCAP Funded Technologies.

 

Healthcare in Space

Successful applicants will present a product that may be refined for space utilization while expanding the company’s addressable market on Earth. This fulfills NSBRI’s mission of safeguarding the health of humans working in space as well as improving life on Earth.

The constraints on health care in space are similar to those experienced in remote or under-resourced regions on Earth. Technology solutions must be largely non-invasive, user-friendly for non-expert operators, compact, lightweight, and consume minimal power, water or other resources. Pharmacological agents should be shelf-stable for several years and require minimal preparation prior to administration. IT solutions must stand alone and not require Internet connectivity.

NSBRI, through its integrated research  program, seeks products and technologies to mitigate adverse effects on the body resulting from environmental stressors in space. For example, radiation exposure can result in acute and/or long-term effects. For humans to safely undertake long duration missions i.e., to Mars, countermeasures are needed that can help protect healthy tissue from damage. The NSBRI program also looks at ways to enhance countermeasures already in place for long missions. Information about the impact of space travel on humans may be found here: The Body in Space.

For a more complete description of risks associated with human space flight see www.nsbri.org/research and http://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov/

Programmatic Priorities

During each grant cycle, NSBRI may elect to focus on one or more programmatic priorities and consider only applicants that address the targeted areas. For example, SMARTCAP 2016 focused exclusively on radiation countermeasures that may protect healthy tissues from radiation damage or mitigate the impact of radiation exposure. Addressing radiation safety is crtical for long duration missions. Each call for applications, typically issued approximately one month prior to the application deadline for that grant cycle, will specify any targeted programmatic priorities.

For a more complete description of risks associated with human space flight see www.nsbri.org/research and http://humanresearchroadmap.nasa.gov/

Company & Product Requirements

To be considered, companies must be based in the U.S., have 500 or fewer employees, and have a product that has achieved a Product Readiness Level > 3 if a device or diagnostic and a Product Readiness Level > 6 if a molecular therapeutic; see below for a brief description of each Product Readiness Level (PRL).

Product Readiness Levels (PRL)

PRL1: Market need and technology requirements identified
PRL2: Concept formulated and prototype designed
PRL3: Critical function and/or proof-of-concept achieved
PRL4: Validation/demonstration through user testing
PRL5: Validation/demonstration in target population
PRL6: Regulatory studies in progress, if required
PRL7: Fabricated/integrated in a production environment
PRL8: Regulatory approval (if required)
PRL9: Market ready
Desirable Projects

The SMARTCAP grant should enable achievement of at least one key milestone on the commercialization pathway. Examples of desirable projects include:

  • Proof of concept studies for a new indication
  • Refinement of prototypes
  • Re-formulation
  • Safety studies
  • Performance of studies required for regulatory approval
  • Usability testing
  • Miniaturization
  • Matching Funding Requirement

 

Desirable Projects

The SMARTCAP grant should enable achievement of at least one key milestone on the commercialization pathway. Examples of desirable projects include:

  • Proof of concept studies
  • Re-formulation
  • Stability studies
  • Performance of pre-clinical studies required for regulatory approval

Matching Funding Requirement

The target amount for each grant will be announced in the call for applications – all SMARTCAP grant funds must be matched with new investment from another non-federal funding source. For more information on acceptable matching investments see our FAQ.