Global aerospace accelerator and advisory firm Starburst announced that applications have opened for the first annual CIS (Care in Space) Challenge. The global challenge, led by Boryung in collaboration with Axiom Space and Starburst, will identify and provide commercialization support for emerging technologies and solutions that optimize human health for space travel and habitation and/or are manufactured in space to advance healthcare here on Earth.
The CIS Challenge will serve as an essential tool to leverage space as an innovative platform for developing new healthcare technologies as well as address the complexities of health monitoring, diagnosis and treatment for those traveling in Low Earth Orbit and beyond. As opportunities for space exploration and commerce expand, the CIS Challenge is set to support critical developments that will make space accessible and safe for all of humanity. And the unique challenges of space facilitate research and development of products that have immediate terrestrial application, from new medications to medical devices to nutritional supplements to stem-cell therapies.
“We are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is currently thought possible in both healthcare and aerospace,” said Boryung head of new portfolio investment, Jack Dongjoo Lim. “Boryung is incredibly excited to work with Axiom and Starburst to seek out the next generation of innovators and founders working on solutions that facilitate access to space for everyone.”
Amir Blachman, Axiom Space chief business officer said, “It is increasingly evident that space, and in particular microgravity, has profound impacts on the speed of drug discovery, improvements in medical devices and advancements related to regenerative medicine and life sciences. We are pleased to support Boryung and Starburst Aerospace in opening space to a broad community of innovators in these fields.”
Through the challenge, the companies and technologies with the most promising technical solutions and potential for commercial viability will have the opportunity to receive a $1 million dollar prize pot that will be divided by no more than 10 winners. The selected companies and technologies will also go through Starburst’s 13-week accelerator program. In the accelerator, the entrepreneurs will receive mentorship from Starburst’s global network of industry leaders and support with technology development, customer discovery, business development and fundraising, as well as preparation for/facilitation of on-orbit research. Each winner will gain access to Axiom’s integration team which has successfully flown dozens of payloads to the International Space Station.
“The extreme conditions of space have always driven the development of novel technologies, and we are excited for this unique opportunity–through this partnership with Boryung and Axiom–to expand the understanding of physiological responses to extreme environments and support entrepreneurs doing cutting edge research in precision medicine, regenerative medicine, synthetic biology, pharmaceutical development, and more,” said Elizabeth Reynolds, accelerator program director at Starburst. “The commercial space age is here, and we are on the cusp of the biological revolution; this cross-disciplinary effort is the future.”
The CIS Challenge application period runs from 04/18/22 – 06/17/22. A Pitch Day event on 07/28/22 will afford selected applicants the opportunity to showcase their capabilities to aerospace and bioscience and bio/medtech industry experts who will assess entrepreneurial acumen and the scientific merit, business model viability, and overall feasibility of their solutions.