NASA Partners with InnoCentive to Crowdsource Innovation Initiatives

By Wazoku

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InnoCentive is now part of Wazoku

Waltham, MA – InnoCentive Inc., the pioneer in crowdsourced innovation and Challenge Driven InnovationTM announced they were chosen to collaborate with NASA on their open innovation initiatives in human space exploration.

NASA is turning to the public and crowdsourcing for outside-the-box thinking about human space exploration challenges with a series of 10 new NASA Open Innovation Service (NOIS) Contracts.

InnoCentive is proud to be included in the NASA crowdsourcing initiative for outside-the-box thinking in human space exploration. “We have partnered with NASA since 2009, by tapping our worldwide crowd to successfully solve several NASA challenges. We look forward to continuing our partnership and commend NASA for supplementing the great thinking and science at NASA with crowdsourced help. It is hard to imagine a more exciting set of topics for our crowd than the frontier of human space exploration,” stated InnoCentive Chairman and CEO, Craig Jones.

The first challenges to be launched under the new contract will seek new algorithms to improve Robonaut’s tool use in novel ways that could take advantage of materials found on asteroids, the moon or Mars for both space and Earth applications. Future challenges will seek help in developing improved textiles for planetary exploration spacesuits and other useful technologies as NASA continues its evolvable Journey to Mars strategy.

The total value of all contracts combined is $20 million over five years.

The challenges will be managed under the umbrella of the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL) which was established by NASA and Harvard University in 2010 and consists of various open innovation platforms and competitions. The idea is to create the most innovative, efficient and optimal solutions for specific, real-world challenges being faced by NASA researchers. The NTL offers an on-line virtual facility for NASA researchers to “order” a solution just like they would order laboratory tests or supplies.

NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation was established with support from the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy to assist federal agencies in using new tools such as prizes to solve tough, mission-critical problems. The Center provides guidance to selected agencies on open innovation initiatives, from problem definition, to incentive design, to post-submission evaluation of solutions. The end-to-end service allows agencies to rapidly experiment with these new methods before standing up their own capabilities and captures best practices, case studies and successful collaborative and distributed innovation methods.


About InnoCentive


InnoCentive crowdsources innovation solutions from the world’s smartest people, who compete to provide ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy and scientific challenges. Our global network of millions of problem solvers, proven challenge methodology, and cloud-based innovation management platform, help clients transform their economics of innovation through rapid solution delivery and the development of sustainable open innovation programs. For over a decade, organizations such as Astra Zeneca, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cleveland Clinic, Eli Lilly & Company, NASA, Procter & Gamble, Thomson Reuters, and several government agencies in the U.S. and Europe have partnered with InnoCentive. Learn more at


By Wazoku

Wazoku is an innovation SaaS business that helps some of the world’s biggest organizations to innovate at scale. Whether it’s making the most of your employee's ideas, identifying new partners to collaborate with, or exploring the boundless potential of open innovation – or all three! – Wazoku makes innovation happen.