KickStart Showcase Celebrates Innovators, Technologies

NASA scientists and engineers demonstrate concepts for inducing artificial gravity on plant growth experiments.NASA’s accomplishments are built on a foundation of innovation. The seeds of new ideas and the painstaking development of new technologies are critically important to the agency and to Kennedy Space Center, which celebrated the spirit of innovation by hosting a KickStart Showcase on July 12.

NASA scientists and engineers demonstrate new concepts being developed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.Center Director Bob Cabana kicked off the event by presenting plaques to each of the 22 Kennedy employees listed on issued patents during the past two years:
Andrew J. Nick, Jacqueline W. Quinn, James E. Fesmire, Janine E. Captain, Jared P. Sass, Jason M. Schuler, Jerry W. Buhrow, Jonathan D. Smith, Luke B. Roberson, Luz M. Calle and Mark E. Lewis.

The KickStart Showcase was a roundup of the more than 50 winners of KickStart competitions since they began in 2012.

The purpose of the KickStart Showcase was to display all past and present KickStart projects. The showcase was the first of its kind, bringing together innovators from the past four years of competitions. The KickStart Competition is held annually at KSC’s Innovation Expo. The Competition gives teams a chance to compete for up to $5,000 to advance their innovative ideas.

During these annual competitions, innovators show off their technologies, and visitors in attendance vote for their favorite project(s). Each project received up to $5,000 to fund their innovative ideas. Funding has been provided by the following programs: International Space Station, Commercial Crew, Ground Systems Development and Operations, Launch Services, and Research and Technology (Royalty Funds).

Similar to the KickStart competition format, the KickStart Showcase encouraged visitors to vote for their favorite. The winners will have the opportunity to star in their own short video that will be shared throughout the agency.

The KickStart “Top Ten – People’s Choice” projects were:

  • VeggieGoRound – Morgan Simpson, Chris Blakeley, Gioia Massa, Ray Wheeler
  • Virtual Control Panel/ Natural User Interface – Bill Little
  • Teleworking Vanpool – Matt Nugent
  • US National Grid additions to KSC Maps – Al Studt
  • Cryo-Fluid Capacitor – Adam Swanger, James Fesmire
  • UV Cured 3D Printing using Regolith – Evan Bell, Tom Lippitt
  • FAST CARS – Car Application for Reservations & Scheduling – Kyle Otsuka, Kelvin Ruiz, Allan Villorin, Joshua Johnson
  • Aerogel Infused Concrete – Adam Swanger
  • The Employees Guide on How to be Innovative at KSC – David Miranda, Brad Hill, Josh Manning, Billy McMillan, Martin Steele, Margaret Truitt
  • Virtual Engineering Dashboard – Tyler Ensey, Abner Coimbre-Rodriguez

The next KickStart Competition will be held in November in conjunction with Kennedy’s annual Innovation Expo.

(Photo credits: NASA/Bill White)