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NASA iTech Challenge Selects Finalists in Search of Game-Changing Energy Technologies

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA held the NASA iTech Cycle II forum, an event devoted to solving tough energy challenges on Earth and in space. DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) joined NASA in hosting the event, uniting experts from multiple disciplines in the search for new energy technologies with potentially transformative implications for American competitiveness and security, as well as space exploration.

“The Department of Energy and NASA represent two of the finest research enterprises in the world, so we were delighted to join NASA in celebrating the importance of innovation in energy technology,” said Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar, who spoke at the forum Wednesday evening. “Through this collaboration, ARPA-E and NASA have identified critical areas for energy innovation with the possibility of improving life on Earth and in space, and we look forward to future opportunities to collaborate with NASA as we accelerate American innovation.”

The forum also served as the final event in the NASA iTech Cycle II Energy challenge. Three innovative energy technology concepts were recognized by a panel of expert judges as finalists in the competition led by NASA and DOE. Technologies under consideration included fuel cells, solar power systems, high capacity batteries, and innovative power management systems.

NASA iTech is an initiative sponsored by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and managed by the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Virginia. ARPA-E lent NASA its expertise in energy technology for this special edition of the iTech challenge, convening a panel of experts from both agencies to evaluate and select the top 10 finalists before the final selections on Thursday.

The three finalists are listed below:

iFeather, Boulder, Colorado
In-situ Fabrication of Extraterrestrial Aerogels for Transparency, Heat, and Energy Regulation (iFEATHER) for Habitat, Aeronautic and Space Vessel, and Space Suit Applications

Stanford University - Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford, California
Two C: Transportation Electrification through Ubiquitous Wireless Charging

WBGlobalSemi, Inc., Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Commercializing High Power Silicon Carbide (SiC) Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and Power Modules for Power Management and Distributed Power Applications