National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight CenterGoddard Space Flight Center

NASA Technology Awards and Incentives

 

NASA Software of the Year Award

An annual award given by the Inventions and Contributions Board for NASA-developed software that has significantly enhanced the Agency’s performance of its mission and helped American industry maintain its world-class technology status.

ELIGIBILITY: NASA must own an intellectual property interest in the software (at contractors for mission related purposes); of commercial quality; official released to qualified users by Center; and latest release within 3 years

CRITERIA:

  1. Innovation (40%): efficiency, portability, functionality, generality
  2. Impact (40%): correctness, reliability, testability, clarity, modifiability, resilience, validity, economy
  3. 3. Usability (20%): integrity, maintainability, flexibility, interoperability, reusability, documentation, understandability

AWARD: The Inventions Contributions Board makes awards up to $100,000 and recognizes winners is honored at Headquarters ceremony at which each individual receives a plaque , an award check, and a certificate

NOMINATIONS DUE: Early Spring of each year.

+ See NASA’s Inventions and Contributions Board (ICB) for Past winners

Return to Top

 

NASA Government Invention of the Year Award

An annual agency award to honor government employees

ELIGIBILITY: Must be a civil servant employee and is usually selected from Invention of the Year winners at each field center. Eligibility requirements include: (1) invention must have at least one NASA employee as the inventor, (2) a United States patent covering the invention must have been issued, (3) the invention as patented must have been actually reduced to practice (a physical embodiment of the patented invention must have been produced and tested to indicate that the invention works as intended in practical applications), (4) NASA must have an ownership interest in the invention, and (5) the invention must be significant to a NASA mission and the benefit must have occurred for the first time during the 5 year period ending with the calendar year of the Award. To be eligible for consideration, the nominated invention must satisfy all the requirements. An invention may be nominated a second time in a succeeding year when there has been a substantial increase in the benefit to NASA or its commercial availability, but previous winners are ineligible.

CRITERIA: Nominations must include: a brief description of the invention; a detailed explanation of the invention’s first commercial availability and significant and identifiable benefit to a NASA project or program; a copy of the patent; a photograph or drawing of the invention; a one-page biography of the inventor; Form 1329, ICB Award Evaluation Questionnaire, or Form 1329A, Reevaluation Form; evidence of performance, utility, and value; and a presenter, who is not an inventor on the nominated invention.  Nominations will also be considered for the NASA Commercial Invention of the Year Award.

AWARD: Winner is honored at a Headquarters ceremony at which each individual receives a plaque, an award check, and a certificate.

NOMINATIONS DUE: Mid Winter of each year.

+ See NASA’s Inventions and Contributions Board (ICB) for Past winners

Return to Top

 

NASA Commercial Invention of the Year Award

An annual award honoring commercial inventions

ELIGIBILITY: Tied closely with the requirements for the National Inventor of the Year Award. Eligibility requirements include: (1) invention must have at least one NASA employee as the inventor, (2) a United States patent covering the invention must have been issued, (3) the invention as patented must have been actually reduced to practice (a physical embodiment of the patented invention must have been produced and tested to indicate that the invention works as intended in practical applications), (4) NASA must have an ownership interest in the invention, and (5) the invention must have become first commercially available during the 5 year period ending with the calendar year of the Award. To be eligible for consideration, the nominated invention must satisfy all the requirements. An invention may be nominated a second time in a succeeding year when there has been a substantial increase in the benefit to NASA or its commercial availability, but previous winners are ineligible.

CRITERIA: Nominations must include: a brief description of the invention; a detailed explanation of the invention’s first commercial availability and significant and identifiable benefit to a NASA project or program; a copy of the patent; a photograph or drawing of the invention; a one-page biography of the inventor; Form 1329, ICB Award Evaluation Questionnaire, or Form 1329A, Reevaluation Form; evidence of performance, utility, and value; and a presenter, who is not an inventor on the nominated invention. Nominations will also be considered for the NASA Government Invention of the Year Award.

AWARD: Winner is honored at a Headquarters ceremony at which each individual receives a plaque, an award check, and a certificate. Winner may also be eligible for the National Invention of Year Award sponsored by the Intellectual Property Owners, Inc., in cooperation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which honors winners on Capitol Hill.

NOMINATIONS DUE: Late Winter of each year.

Return to Top

 

 

Royalties

The law makes it possible for a NASA inventor to share in the royalties NASA receives from the licensing of the invention.

ELIGIBILITY: All Civil servant employees

CRITERIA: Licensing of invention

AWARD: First $5,000 in royalty income each year is distributed to the inventors. Each inventor also receives 25% of any royalties in excess of $5,000 per year.

Awards are made on a continuous basis.

Return to Top

 

The NASA Space Act Monetary Awards Program for Significant Scientific and Technical Contributions

BACKGROUND: The objectives of this program are to provide official recognition of, and to grant equitable monetary awards for those inventions and other scientific and technical contributions that have helped to achieve NASA’s aeronautical, technology transfer, and space goals; and to stimulate and encourage the creation and reporting of similar contributions in the future. To accomplish these objectives, the Inventions and Contributions Board is authorized to recommend the granting of monetary awards in amounts up to $100,000 in accordance with the provisions of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, and to grant monetary awards in amounts up to $10,000 in accordance with the provisions of the Government Employees Incentive Awards Act of 1954. Space Act awards can be made to any person with no restriction as to employer, and in accordance with the regulations as specified in the Federal Register Vol. 55, No. 5, (14 CFR Part 1240). Awards made under the authority of the Incentive Awards Act can be made to U.S. Government employees only.

GUIDELINES: In determining the merits of an invention or a contribution, the Board depends primarily on the information provided by the contributor(s)/technical evaluator in the Space Act Award Application. Furthermore, the Board recognizes that NASA technical personnel are the best sources of reliable information concerning contributions made by employees of NASA or by employees of NASA’s contractors whose activities are under their cognizance. For this contribution, it is appropriate for the contributor(s)/ technical evaluator to supply the information that the Board requires in order to make a recommendation that is equitable to both the contributor(s) and NASA. We are therefore asking you to assist the Board by completing, accurately and thoroughly, the application which follows these explanatory remarks. For your convenience we suggest that you familiarize yourself with the contents of the application by reading it completely before answering the questions. Please provide all pertinent facts, specific details, explanations, and opinions regarding seven important factors that characterize the contribution. These factors are: (1) Description, (2) Significance, (3) Stage of Development, (4) Use, (5) Creativity, (6) Recognition and (7) Tangible Value. The Board welcomes any additional information that you believe will contribute to the completeness of its deliberations. If you find it necessary to modify or expand the format of the application in order to provide such extra information, please do so.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION AND AWARDS LIAISON OFFICER RESPONSIBILITY: Please be thorough and candid with your evaluation. Each section must be filled in, and where appropriate, signed by the evaluators. In no case should the evaluator be identified as a contributor. The full legal name, home address, and social security number for each contributor is mandatory and at least one NASA official must sign in Section II to attest to NASA’s sponsorship, adoption, support, or use of the contribution. If any supplementary materials are provided; e.g., additional sheets, technical papers, engineering drawings, videotape, audio cassettes, photographs, computer diskettes, etc., each must be marked and identified by the NASA Case Number. The names and contact information for individuals familiar with the contribution would be helpful for evaluation. The Awards Liaison Officer of the NASA Center where the contribution is supported is responsible for accepting the application and subsequent submission to the Board. Please ensure that the contributors have signed a Privacy Act statement such as that forwarded to the Awards Liaison Office by the ICB on May 13, 1992. All contributions should be officially reported to NASA by submission of Form 1679 Disclosure of Invention and New Technology (Including Software).

The Board sincerely appreciates the time and effort you will devote to the completion of the Space Act Award Application. We pledge to take prompt action to review and process your application. It is our intent to expeditiously reward excellence.

Submit NASA Form 1679 (New Technology Reporting System), “Disclosure of Invention and New Technology (Including Software), ” to the Strategic Partnerships Office/Code 102 if not previously submitted.

  1. Download Instructions for Form 1329
  2. Fill out the form
  3. Return it by email to the Strategic Partnerships Office

+ Past winners