Kennedy Space Center, FL (October 23, 2018) — The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced a joint solicitation wherein researchers will have the ability to leverage the microgravity environment onboard the orbiting laboratory to support enhancements in the fields of transformative tissue engineering and mechanobiology. Up to $2 million will be awarded for multiple research investigations to support flight projects to the ISS National Lab. This solicitation marks the second funding opportunity between the ISS National Lab and NSF focused on tissue engineering.
Through this partnership, the ISS National Lab and NASA will facilitate hardware implementation and on-orbit access to the orbiting laboratory. NSF will fund the selected projects to advance fundamental science and biomedical engineering knowledge. NSF supports transformative research to help drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security, and maintain America’s position as a global leader in innovation.
The primary program interest is in the area of tissue engineering. However, any research that fits within the scope of the NSF Engineering of Biomedical Systems (EBMS) Program or Biomechanics and Mechanobiology (BMMC) Program and requires access to experimental facilities on the ISS may be considered. This includes cellular engineering, tissue engineering, and modeling of physiological or pathophysiological systems in topic areas that include, but are not limited to: scaffolds and matrices, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, stem cell engineering and reprogramming, cellular immunotherapies, cellular biomanufacturing, and system integration between biological components and electromechanical assemblies. Of particular interest to the NSF Biomechanics and Mechanobiology (BMMB) program is fundamental research in biomechanics and mechanobiology, including: multiscale mechanics approaches that integrate across molecular, cell, tissue, and organ domains; and the influence of in vivo mechanical forces on cell and matrix biology in histomorphogenesis, maintenance, regeneration, and aging of tissues.
Prior to submitting a full proposal to NSF for this solicitation, all interested parties must submit a Preliminary Feasibility Review form to the ISS National Lab, which will determine the operational feasibility for flight of the proposed project. The ISS National Lab will notify the proposer of a passing or failing review score within 14 days of the Preliminary Feasibility Review form being submitted. Therefore, the ISS National Lab strongly encourages interested parties to submit the review form no later than January 2, 2019. Only projects that pass the ISS National Lab Preliminary Feasibility Review will be invited to submit a full proposal to NSF. The notification of a passing score must be included in the full proposal submission. NSF will close this grant solicitation on February 15, 2019.
To learn more about this funding opportunity, view the full proposal solicitation via https://www.iss-casis.org/nsf-cbet-cmmi/. An informational webinar will be held on November 5th at 1 pm EDT. To register for the webinar go to: https://www.iss-casis.org/tissue-engineering-webinar/.
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About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is now available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector, providing these customers access to a permanent microgravity setting, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied environments of space. The ISS National Lab is managed by the Center for the Advancement for Science in Space, under agreement with NASA.
About the National Science Foundation: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.
ISS National Lab: