Defense TechConnect

DECEMBER 3-5, 2024   

Space Innovation Challenge

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2023 Space Innovation Challenge - Submissions Closed
Take the stage. Meet your next partner. Win $50K in prizes.

Achieve more in space! Enter your top technology to the Space Innovation Challenge by September 15. Finalists will pitch their solutions to an audience of technology integrators, funders, federal government, and corporate partners who will award $50,000 to five winners. Challenge organizers have specifically allocated one of the five prizes for an HBCU or MSI-based company or technology. If you started your big idea at an HBCU, we want to hear from you!

For the first time, the Space Innovation Challenge will accelerate the commercialization and transition of in-space technologies across themes including:

  • Health Tech and Biotech-In-Space, such as:
    • Astronaut health monitoring
    • Adapting astronaut health tech for terrestrial remote medicine
    • Utilizing microgravity for health-related development, including pharmaceuticals or bioprinting
  • In-Space Capability Providers: Stations and Facilities
    • Privately-owned launch vehicles
    • Modular crewed LEO stations
    • Robotic test-bed facilities
  • In-Space Capability Providers: Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
    • Advanced 3D printers for on-orbit operations
    • Valorization of existing space debris
  • Utilization of Space-Derived Data, including:
    • Geolocation
    • Tagging, Tracking, & Location (TTL)
    • Real-Time/Near Real-Time Large Data Analytics and Virtualization
    • Global Integrated Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (GIISR)
    • Joint Multi-Domain Battlespace Awareness (SA)
  • On-Orbit Operational Data Management, including:
    • Capture, Analysis and Security
    • Data Fusion and Dissemination
    • Electronic and Cyber Warfare
    • Command, Control, Communications (C3) and Spectrum Utilization
  • Next-Generation Hardware for Space Observation, Monitoring, and Sensing
    • Earth Observation sensor platforms
    • Sensors for orbital monitoring and management of orbital constellations
    • Internal sensors for monitoring satellite health and operations

Submissions Closed


Prizes & Evaluation:

Judges will review on-site finalist pitches and make five (5) prize determinations, each with $10,000. No strings attached.

Review criteria include:

  • Value/Impact
  • Readiness
  • Scalability
  • Financial Viability
  • Pitch Quality

Pitch Event:

Finalists will receive an invitation to pitch at Defense TechConnect Innovation Conference in Washington, D.C. on November 28, 2023

  • Location: Gaylord National Convention Center and Hotel, National Harbor, MD
  • Duration: 5 minutes, followed by 2 minutes of Q&A from the judges

Program Schedule:

Submissions Open: August 7, 2023

Informational Webinar: September 6, 2023

Submissions Close: September 15, 2023
Finalist Notification: Early October 2023
Pitch Event: November 28, 2023 in Washington, D.C.


2023 Review Panelists

  • APEX
  • ATI
  • International Space Station National Laboratory
  • Blue Origin
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Raytheon Technologies
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For submission inquiries, please contact

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2023 Sponsors & Partners

Sponsors & Partners

2023 SBIR/STTR Agency Partners

SBIR/STTR Agency Partners

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