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2024 Humans In Space Challenge: A Global Call for Startups and Researchers to Launch Their Ideas into Orbit 

Startups and researchers addressing Critical Health problems on Earth and in Space can apply to the Humans In Space Challenge to access equity investment and on-orbit experiment opportunities, alongside accelerator program and networking opportunities supported by globally renowned partners and institutions. Applications for the 2024 Humans In Space (HIS) Challenge are now open until June 27, 11:59 PM U.S. ET, and can be found on the HIS website at www.humansinspaceofficial.com.

In its third year, the HIS Challenge is an innovative competition hosted by Boryung Corp., a leading healthcare company in South Korea, in partnership with its global partners since 2022. This initiative aims to cultivate a global space healthcare ecosystem through advancing pioneering ideas in space healthcare. 

For this challenge, interested groups will develop actionable ideas to advance global space health care. Judges will then evaluate those ideas and select a handful that they think has the best potential for further development. More detailed information on the Challenge topic can be found in the HIS website. 

According to Dr. Jancy McPhee, Associate Chief Scientist of NASA HRP “Science accelerators are a great way to spur innovation and technical advancement. That’s why NASA’s so interested in science accelerators focused on space health—as the commercial space sector expands, more people from all walks of life will be going into space. So we’re really looking for ideas that will push clinical care in space forward to meet the needs of a larger astronaut pool.”

This year’s program introduces a new opportunity designed to actualize groundbreaking ideas in space, including the International Space Station (ISS). This novel approach establishes the HIS Challenge as a comprehensive global space healthcare platform, bringing together companies and researchers worldwide to advance from ground-based research to space experiments. 

The funding model for this year’s awardees has been revamped to provide in-orbit experiments opportunities, representing a significant progression from previous years. HIS Award offers two pathways: R&D investment with access to in-orbit experiment and equity investment. Selected startups may choose between receiving up to USD 250,000 in R&D investment for in-orbit experiments or the USD 50,000 equity investment, while the HIS provides R&D investment for researchers. 

Beyond financial investments, the HIS Challenge offers extensive benefits, including the HIS accelerator program, Zero Gravity Flight, networking sessions, and live demonstration opportunities. Final awardees gain access to an entire value chain of partners and mentors dedicated to advancing their ideas into the space sector, including in-orbit experiments and the broader space business landscape. HIS serves as a comprehensive ecosystem, supporting the evolution of ideas from initial development to their expansion in the space field. 

HIS collaborates closely with key global partners, encompassing space agencies and major space companies across the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. With NASA’s HRP and ISSNL serving as key advisors to HIS, the Challenge is supported by global medical centers and accelerators such as Harvard Medical School, Cedars-Sinai, and Space Foundation to propel critical ideas forward. NASA’s HRP and the ISSNL serve as key advisors to HIS.

Moreover, leading space and healthcare venture capitalists such as Space Capital, Type One Ventures, and Primo Ventures will be joining together to support the advancement and commercialization of innovation ideas. 

In 2023, 130 teams from 33 countries applied, with seven startups, including LambdaVision, and five research teams selected through the final pitch at ASCEND, the largest space industry conference in the United States. These teams received equity investments and research grants, respectively. 

Nicole Wagner, the CEO of LambdaVision, shared that “Participation in the 2023 Humans in Space event was great exposure for LambdaVision. The coaching and mentorship from the HIS team helped us to better refine our pitch and business strategy for space. One major benefit of participating in programs like HIS is the people and companies that you meet. Participation in HIS expanded our network of investors and space industry experts. We also had the opportunity to meet other companies and academic groups doing incredibly exciting research that will have a significant impact on building a thriving low earth orbit economy.” 

The final awardees will be announced in mid-October following the initial application screening and virtual pitch evaluation. The 2024 HIS Challenge facilitates the execution of on-orbit experiments and establishes a global space healthcare ecosystem that promotes robust partnerships and growth. The ecosystem will share experimental data and technologies from on-orbit experiments, fostering sustainable collaboration with partners. 

If you are a researcher or startup with ideas to launch into orbit, seize this opportunity to pitch your idea and play a pivotal role in shaping the future of humanity in space. For further details and to apply, please visit the official website: www.humansinspaceofficial.com 

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About Boryung 

Boryung is a healthcare investment company founded in 1957 and headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Following the company’s mission to become an indispensable contributor to human health, the company has expanded their business portfolio to the space healthcare industry. Recognizing space as a new realm for growth, Boryung acknowledges the increasing number of individuals anticipated to embark on prolonged space missions, highlighting the importance of ensuring human survival in the hostile space environment. Hence, the company believes there will be substantial opportunities to foster new technologies and meet the emerging needs in this field.

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