The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), manager of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory, 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,” according to an ISS National Lab spokesperson.”

One of the two in-space production applications is for tissue engineering and biomanufacturing. This includes studies that 1) demonstrate the benefits of stem cell expansion and/or stem cell research in space for therapeutic application(s) on earth; 2) demonstrate an organoid culture or multicellular culture system to model human disease or test therapeutics to treat disease; and 3) develop and demonstrate a system for the in-space biofabrication of tissues or other biocompatible material.

The other in-space production application focuses on crystallization of small organic molecules or large biomolecules, production of uniform crystals, or growth of inorganic crystals; thin-layer deposition; in-space production or metallurgical development; and 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.

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) must be submitted 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 and tissue engineering and biomanufacturing. To learn more about the ISS National Lab and the science that it sponsors, please visit www.ISSNationalLab.org.