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CASIS Releases Two ISS National Lab Research Announcements For In-Space Production Applications

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), March 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), manager of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, today released two separate research announcements that will solicit proposals within the area of in-space production applications. Applied research and development concepts in this area seek to demonstrate space-based manufacturing and production activities that enable new business growth and capital investment, represent scalable and sustainable market opportunities, and produce reoccurring value with the potential to generate demand for and revenue from access to space. These two in-space production applications research announcements are in the focus areas of: 1) Advanced Manufacturing and Materials and 2) Tissue Engineering and Biomanufacturing.

Advancing in-space production applications onboard the space station has been identified as a strategic priority for both NASA and the ISS National Lab. Enabling opportunities and driving demand within this area will be instrumental in the development of a robust and sustainable market in low Earth orbit. Through opportunities such as these research announcements, CASIS aims to reach both existing ISS investigators and potential new space station users. Flight projects selected via these research announcements may be awarded funding to enable mission integration and operations support for projects that will be implemented on the ISS. Below provides further information on both of these research announcement opportunities.


ISS National Lab Research Announcement 2021-5: In-Space Production Applications for Advanced Manufacturing and Materials

Through this research announcement, CASIS seeks proposals in the areas of advanced or exotic materials production and/or associated technologies. Suggested topics within this focus area include the following:

  • Thin-layer deposition: Creating and depositing thin film coatings onto a substrate material with the ability to design in certain properties that improve the performance of the material
  • Crystal growth and/or production improvements: Crystallization of small organic molecules or large biomolecules, production of uniform crystals, or growth of inorganic crystals
  • In-space production or metallurgical development: The development of next-generation production methods, the synthesis and testing of novel materials, and the exploitation of mechanisms involved in material transformations for the production of new materials with unique characteristics
  • Process improvements: Use of the ISS to develop and support the use of hardware and production techniques/approaches focused on the production of materials for in-space use and/or terrestrial applications


ISS National Lab Research Announcement 2021-6: In-Space Production Applications for Tissue Engineering and Biomanufacturing

Through this research announcement, CASIS seeks proposals in the areas of regenerative medicine and/or associated technologies that may benefit from the unique environment of the ISS. Suggested topics within this focus area include the following:

  • Stem cells: Studies that demonstrate the benefits of stem cell expansion and/or stem cell research in space for therapeutic application(s) on Earth
  • Organoid or multicellular systems: Studies that demonstrate an organoid culture or multicellular culture system to model human disease or test therapeutics to treat disease
  • Biofabrication of tissues or other biocompatible material: Studies that develop and demonstrate a system for the in-space biofabrication of tissues or other biocompatible material

 CASIS will host two webinars to discuss ISS facilities and capabilities associated with these research announcements. The Advanced Manufacturing and Materials webinar will be held on April 6, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST, and the Tissue Engineering and Biomanufacturing webinar will be held on April 8, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST. For those unable to attend the webinars, recorded versions will be included on the research announcement webpages.

Both of these research announcements will follow a two-step proposal submission process. Before being invited to submit a full proposal, all interested investigators must complete and submit a Step One Concept Summary for review. Step One Concept Summaries must be submitted by end of day on May 6, 2021. Step 2 Full Proposals (from those invited to submit) will be due by end of day June 22, 2021.

To learn more about these opportunities, including how to submit a Step One Concept Summary, please visit the webpage for each research announcement (Advanced Manufacturing and Materials; Tissue Engineering and Biomanufacturing). To learn more about the ISS National Lab and the science that it sponsors, please visit


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About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory:

The International Space Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that enables research and technology development not possible on Earth. As a public service enterprise, the ISS National Lab allows researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to improve life on Earth, mature space-based business models, advance science literacy in the future workforce, and expand a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit. Through this orbiting national laboratory, research resources on the ISS are available to support non-NASA science, technology and education initiatives from U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) manages the ISS National Lab, under cooperative agreement with NASA, facilitating access to its permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space. To learn more about the ISS National Lab, visit


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Patrick O'Neill
ISS National Lab