At a Glance
- CASIS participated in 81 conferences and events in FY17, with 79 speaking engagements highlighting R&D successes and opportunities on the ISS National Lab.
- West Coast engagement continues to expand, with two Destination Station events and multiple meetings with space industry leaders and investor groups.
- Outreach on the East Coast has advancved, including an additional Destination Station event and a new partnership with the New York Space Alliance.
- Four CASIS-sponsored workshops in FY17 focused on musculoskeletal disease, rodent research, and microbiome R&D in space as well as STEM education related to the ISS National Lab.
Promoting awareness and utilization of the ISS National Lab is a multifaceted and vast effort, and it requires partnership and collaboration to reach new audiences and new heights. Every conference attended, project awarded, and partnership formed helps expand the ISS National Lab network deeper into the scientific community and more expansively throughout the country.
During FY17, CASIS represented the ISS National Lab at 81 conferences, trade shows, and other events to strategically engage diverse ISS National Lab stakeholders, including researchers, policymakers, educators, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors. CASIS sponsored 14 of these events, including the annual ISSR&D Conference in July, which drew more than one thousand attendees.
2017 ISSR&D Conference, Washington, D.C.
The annual ISSR&D Conference was held July 17-20, with a record-breaking attendance of more than 1000 participants. The traditional luminary keynote speakers, plenary presentations, technical sessions, new user workshop, and investor session were augmented this year by a Capitol Hill reception. Key highlights from the conference included:
- Conference keynote speaker NASA astronaut Kate Rubins shared stories about her ISS National Lab experience and spoke with researchers about the challenges of conducting science in microgravity, demonstrating that astronauts are becoming powerful ambassadors in addition to serving as our in-orbit scientists.
- Twelve commercial space startups pitched to approximately 20 investors at the investor session, and a panel of experienced space investors discussed critical topics related to funding of commercial space entities and their vision on how commercial space will change in the coming years.
- A Capitol Hill reception featured exhibits of spaceflight hardware and promoted networking among more than 400 scientists, students, and legislators, including approximately 70 House and Senate federal representatives and staffers. Congressman Babin (TX – 36th district), Congressman Bera (CA – 7th district), and Senator Markey (MA) spoke in support of the ISS National Lab.
Additional CASIS-organized Events:
- Public Board Meeting Showcased Progress: In January, the CASIS Board of Directors and executive leadership held the annual CASIS Public Board Meeting. The event was available via live-stream and provided stakeholders, media, and interested members of the space community with an overview of recent successes and future opportunities and goals, illustrating the tangible progress CASIS and NASA have made toward full utilization of the ISS.
- Panel Formally Evaluated Value Impact: For the second year in a row, CASIS assembled a panel of unpaid public and private sector R&D experts with extensive experience performing value/impact assessments for both government and commercial technology portfolios. Panelists independently evaluated the ISS National Lab portfolio using an evolved assessment framework (discussed in the section Spaceflight Innovation to Solve Big Problems). Results from this assessment recognized the successes and future potential of the growing ISS National Lab R&D portfolio.
- STEM Education Partner Workshop: In February, CASIS hosted its annual STEM workshop attended by 30 key leaders in education, the space industry, philanthropy, and fundraising. The focus areas of the event included education consortium building, identifying programmatic challenges and opportunities, and planning strategies.
- Bone and Muscle Planning Exercise: As a follow-on to the previous CASIS workshop on musculoskeletal disease research in space, 15 attendees participated in a CASIS-led workshop that focused on new approaches to collecting and analyzing musculoskeletal data from crew members onboard the ISS.
- Immunome/Microbiome Workshop: CASIS continued its ongoing series of workshops with a one-day forum on “Omes and Omics: Exploring the Microbiome/Immunome and Disease on the International Space Station U.S. National Lab.” Nearly 40 researchers and scientists participated in discussions to identify and prioritize research questions and science requirements for a sustainable ISS National Lab Sponsored Program.
- Rodent Research Workshop: CASIS and NASA jointly sponsored a workshop to maximize ISS stakeholder access to the rodent research model in space. During the workshop, 50 attendees reviewed accomplishments of rodent research to date and collaborated to identify the critical scientific activities needed to promote high value, productive rodent studies in space as well as opportunities to maximize the scientific return of rodent research
Highlights from the West Coast
- CASIS continued to expand engagement activities in Silicon Valley, holding multiple meetings with industry leaders and speaking at the Space 2.0 conference, which brought together public, private, and investment sectors of the commercial space industry. CASIS also held an industry day event with key thought leaders in the region to discuss collaborative opportunities for innovation on the ISS National Lab and how to drive the commercial development of LEO.
- Also on the West Coast, in conjunction with NASA, CASIS planned and executed two Destination Station events—one in Seattle, Washington, and another in Portland, Oregon. Destination station is a free event that provides the public with an opportunity to engage with astronauts, scientists, engineers, and researchers that support the ISS. Destination station events also allow CASIS staff to hold meetings with industry stakeholders at these two west coast events, including two Fortune 100 companies and one Fortune 500 company.
- CASIS participated in the BIO International Convention in San Diego, California, hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, which represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations around the world. CASIS met with a variety of biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations and companies to discuss ISS National Lab research opportunities.
Highlights from the East Coast
- CASIS formed a new partnership with the New York Space Alliance (NYSA), which will connect the ISS National Lab to additional commercial partners, entrepreneurs, and investors. According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the city’s tech ecosystem accounts for more than 291,000 jobs and $124.7 billion in economic output.
- In conjunction with NASA, CASIS planned and executed a Destination Station event at the South Carolina Research Authority, in Charleston, South Carolina, during the recent solar eclipse, which reached totality in this region of the U.S.
- CASIS attended the Multifunctional Integrated System Technology (MIST) Center Industry Advisory Board Spring Meeting. The MIST Center is a collaborative research group funded through NSF, the University of Florida, and the University of Central Florida to advance research integration of novel materials, processes, devices, and circuits into multi-functional systems through partnerships between university, industry, and government stakeholders.
“CASIS is doing an extraordinary job engaging with the investor community in addition to helping accelerate the development of the commercial space market in low Earth orbit. As an investor, CASIS has been an invaluable resource to me.”
Ashish Aggarwal, Principal, Grishin Robotics