TMCnet Feature
June 04, 2021

ZeroAvia Selected as a Competitor for NASA iTech Cycle I Forum

The hydrogen-electric powertrain that ZeroAvia has designed for aviation is among 10 different innovations competing in NASA's iTech forum. The virtual forum will take place on May 27, 2021. It will allow companies to discuss the issues facing the world today and explain how their technological advances could make a difference for society. Finalists for this forum have received recognition for their innovative approaches and how they could benefit NASA's strategic priorities and missions.

The forum also connects these innovators with the chief technologists of NASA, investors, and industry experts. The industry experts can help innovators make needed changes that could add to their success. At the same time, investors can give these innovators opportunities to help move their cutting-edge technologies into the marketplace. While not a guarantee of collaboration, bringing these groups together is an excellent way to benefit everyone involved.

ZeroAvia Is Honored and Grateful

The CEO and founder of ZeroAvia, Val Miftakhov, said that the company is grateful for the opportunity to share more information about its hydrogen-electric powertrain for aviation with a group of such distinguished individuals. The company believes that it is offering the most practical and viable solution for decarbonizing the skies. To that end, ZeroAvia is looking forward to working closely with NASA to move forward with the value and necessity of zero-emission flight.

In June of 2020, ZeroAvia completed its first electric flight. By September, it had achieved a world first: a hydrogen-electric flight of a commercial-grade aircraft. The company uses a hydrogen-electric powertrain to replace conventional commercial aircraft engines. The technology also reduces maintenance costs and lowers fuel costs. Additionally, it helps companies that use it achieve zero-emission flight, which will significantly benefit the planet and reduce airlines' carbon footprints.

NASA Is Focused on Opportunity

The NASA iTech program manager, Maxwell Briggs, has stated that NASA is looking forward to seeing the technology and innovations that these entrepreneurs will be presenting. The hope is that the technologies can improve the world and help NASA push more boundaries for space exploration. The innovations presented in the forum will make the world more sustainable, as well as healthier and safer for everyone who shares it.

Additionally, the technology may help make NASA engineers and those who work for the organization smarter and more efficient, whether they work from their homes, offices, or spacecraft. The iTech Cycle I Form is the pinnacle event of NASA's current iTech cycle, which included three Ignite the Night events in the last year. The cycle looked for technologies from more than a dozen areas of focus and saw entries from companies in 32 different states. It will recognize the top three teams with an awards ceremony at the end of the program.

About NASA iTech

NASA leads the way in scientific discoveries on the planet and throughout the cosmos. The organization’s mission involves expanding the frontiers of human experience and advancing new types of technology in space and aeronautics systems. American industry has cultivated a growing interest in space and an increasing ability to explore it. Every day, NASA collaborates with the private sector to stay on the cutting edge of the technology that it needs to succeed.

Through iTech, NASA reaches beyond more traditional partnership agreements and gets closer to early and independent innovation. It helps the organization identify innovations that will be important for the future and the people behind those innovations. Connecting innovators with investors can also help advance society because it propels technology and ideas forward with the backing that they need to enter the marketplace. Industry leaders also partner with innovators to increase this result.

Ideas for new technology can come from independent innovators, academia, large or small businesses, and other government organizations. Anyone who has not previously presented their solutions and ideas to industry partners and NASA leadership may have the opportunity to find a voice through the iTech program. The program is focused on a unique and fresh approach that is different from more traditional government programs. NASA does not take any ownership of the intellectual property presented through iTech and does not provide any government funds through the program.

About ZeroAvia

ZeroAvia is an industry leader and focuses on hydrogen-electric solutions for the aviation market. The goal is to find new ways to arrive at zero-emission aviation and solutions for several markets and many different types of people and businesses. Initially, the company is focusing on targeting 10–20-seat aircraft used for cargo, agriculture, and passenger transport, which fly at a 500-mile or smaller range.

The company has bases in the United States and the United Kingdom and has already secured experimental certificates for two prototype aircraft from the FAA and CAA. The company has also passed significant milestones in its flight testing, and it is set to begin commercial operations in 2024. The company is currently working on expanding U.K. operations with financial support in the form of grants from Innovate U.K. and the U.K.'s Aerospace Technology Institute.

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