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The Medical Center of the Americas Foundation has partnered with the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI) to launch the SPACE RACE, a Paso del Norte (PDN) Innovation Challenge designed to spur regional economic growth by launching new startups to advance and commercialize NASA’s commercially viable inventions. CAI, a nonprofit organization based out of Bethesda, MD focused on accelerating commercialization and creating new entrepreneurial platforms is leveraging the new Startup NASA initiative, which offers startups the opportunity to license patented NASA technologies with no upfront fees. Startup NASA helps address two of the biggest challenges faced by startup companies: raising capital and securing intellectual property rights. The SPACE RACE will also help the PDN region address its biggest challenges to growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem, lack of commercially-viable deal flow and limited trained entrepreneurs.

Interested parties should start forming their teams now and nominating inventions for the challenge. Teams may enter their teams into the challenge starting January 19, 2015; challenge submissions will be accepted until March 27, 2016. A press conference will be held on January 25th with the MCA, CAI and Dan Lockney, global head of tech transfer from NASA, as well as Jim Cantrell, co-founder of SpaceX. The MCA and CAI will have a “Road Show” from January 25th to the 29th across several locations in the region to explain the SPACE RACE Innovation Challenge and recruit teams.

For more information on the application process,

go to www.space-race.org