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Phase 1 Application

Please read all of the application requirements before completing each section. All applications must be submitted in English. Portions of your application, including the Proposal Title and the Technical Abstract, may be published on this website; the remainder of your application will only be viewed by prize administrators and judges.

Be sure to review your application as the judges will see it and confirm your changes have been saved. When you have completed all of the requirements, a message will be displayed on the screen. At that point, you can submit your final application. Once you have submitted the application, you will no longer be able to make changes.

You must submit your application no later than Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 5:00 PM Central.

A. Introduction

Proposal Title (5 words)

Please provide a title for your proposal. This title may be displayed on the challenge website post-submission so please be descriptive.

Technical Abstract (50 words)

Provide a brief summary description of the physicochemical (no biological components) process/system that uses CO2 as the sole carbon source to produce selected carbon-based molecular compounds you are proposing to construct. Your Technical Abstract should be contained in a single paragraph. Focus on delivering a compelling overview so that the Evaluation Panel members assigned to score your application will want to read more. Therefore, the paragraph should not require any other context to explain clearly your proposed technology. This is your opportunity to make a strong first impression, so make every word count. 

B. About Your Team

The following information is required to capture a basic understanding of the leadership, structure, vision, and capabilities of the people working on this project. Individuals, teams of individuals, and organizations may apply. While government agencies cannot register or apply, individuals affiliated with government agencies can be recognized as part of a team so long as no governmental resources are used to develop the submission. Refer to the Rules for a complete set of eligibility requirements.

Proof of Citizenship or Permanent Residency

In order to be eligible for an award, you must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and provide proof of that status. The following documents can be used to establish your status.

Acceptable Documents for U.S. Citizenship

IMPORTANT: Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 will not be recognized as proof of Lawful U.S. Citizenship beginning November 1, 2010. The government of Puerto Rico has provided information for citizens to apply for new birth certificates.

Acceptable Documents for Lawful Permanent Resident Status

Upload a copy of one of these documents to verify that you are a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. 

Proof of Incorporation and Primary Place of Business

In order to be eligible for an award, you must provide proof that your organization is incorporated in the United States. and that your primary place of business is within the United States. The following documents can be used to establish your primary place of business and place of incorporation.

Acceptable Documents to Prove Primary Place of Business

Acceptable Documents to Prove Place of Incorporation

Proof of Liability Insurance

In order to participate in this Challenge, you must demonstrate that you have at least $250K liability insurance coverage. You may upload a certificate or other evidence of your insurance coverage.

Team Organization (250 words)

If you are part of a team that consists of individuals or a member of an organization that is submitting a proposal, each team member must fulfill a specific purpose in developing your proposed solution. Let us know how your team is structured by including a document that identifies each member, affiliation, and role in project. You may include an organizational chart. If you are an individual who is submitting a proposal, please enter “not applicable.”

C. Your Technology

This is your opportunity to provide the details of your proposed technology to the NASA CO2 Conversion Challenge. Be sure to emphasize how your proposed solution aligns with the four traits that will be used to assess each valid application (see Trait Scoring Rubric).

Each solution must demonstrate a clear understanding of the challenges associated with the development of CO2 conversion systems to produce compounds from the defined list that serve as an energy source for microbial manufacturing systems, and why you believe your approach may unlock the solution. To achieve a deeper understanding of your idea, convince those reviewing your application that you understand the greater context of Earth and space applications in which your technology may be used.

Technology Overview (750 words)

Describe the physicochemical system that you plan to develop, the CO2 conversion process the system uses and its chemistry, including any consumable chemicals, catalysts, etc.  List the targeted compounds and their characteristics (concentration, solid/liquid, pH, and any other applicable information).  The system should be able to make at least one compound in Table 1, understanding that systems that can produce the more favored compounds will be ranked higher.  To be considered for the prize, the Concept must indicate a viable path to success, and be supported by rationale obtained from basic and/or applied research. 

Assumptions (200 words)

What assumptions have you made about the development of this technology? Explain your understanding of the necessary operations or tactics critical to overcoming implementation challenges. You must include supporting calculations where applicable.

Design Schematic

Upload a preliminary design schematic that represents the physicochemical system you envision constructing in order to demonstrate the production of selected carbon-based molecular compounds. The system should be scaled such that, at a minimum, it generates sufficient product within a continuous 7 hour period to allow analytical characterization/verification using conventional analytical methods.

Physical Properties (500 words)

Describe the physical characteristics of your system, to include the major hardware components, process information and component level detail as deemed relevant to the system solution. What is the projected system mass/energy/size? What is the anticipated CO₂-to-product(s) conversion efficiency rate? What is the targeted production rate?

Data Analysis

Upload a report with supporting calculations and any preliminary laboratory analysis data you have to support the design and operation of the proposed CO₂ conversion process.

Data Analysis Narrative (250 words)

Provide a narrative description to the data analysis that you uploaded. Are there specific areas that need additional explanation? Take the time to anticipate any questions the Evaluation Panel might have about your preliminary results.

Intellectual Property (100 words)

Explain who owns the intellectual property of your proposed technology. If you are building on existing or off-the-shelf technology, detail the permissions you have to use that technology. If you are part of a team, indicate which team members own the intellectual property. 

D. Your Project Plan

Assuming you will have up to twelve months to build a functioning system, identify the milestones for building your technology in chronological order.    

Project Milestones (150 words)

Describe the milestones and timeline needed to build your prototype demonstration system.  

E. Your Video

Upload a brief video to introduce your team, discuss why you are interested in this challenge, your expertise/experience, available facilities, and other general information related to your interest and ability to succeed in this challenge. You will upload a short digital film using YouTube. Set the Privacy Settings on your video to Public or Unlisted; do not set them to Private. Video submissions must follow these guidelines:

Here are general suggestions for delivering a high-quality video: