NASA seeking biotech partner

NASA is looking for a partner to help create a center that will develop

new technologies with biological attributes.

A competitive solicitation for participants in the NASA Center for Biology-Inspired

Technology is scheduled for release in late May, and award of a cooperative

agreement is expected in September.

Participation in the solicitation is open to industry, educational institutions,

nonprofit organizations, NASA field centers and other government agencies.

NASA is interested biology-inspired technologies because they will enable

novel space missions and research capabilities, according to a draft cooperative

agreement notice. Annual funding for research is estimated at $1.5 million.

NASA anticipates that technology based on biological processes will

not only improve space systems and the capability of humans to inhabit space,

but also commercial and medical systems on Earth.

Drawing on plans for humans to inhabit the International Space Station,

NASA envisions the need for a human-machine partnership in which human thought

and action and technological systems are linked and are equally important

aspects of analysis, design and evaluation.

Achieving those types of systems requires bold research efforts designed

to mimic biological solutions to sensory perception, communication, computation,

adaptation and motor control, according to NASA.

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