NASA Creates “Virtual” Aeronautics Research Institute


NASA plans to launch a “virtual institute” to solicit and foster innovative ideas that address technological challenges facing aviation and the U.S. air transportation system, the agency said on Tuesday. The NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) will be based at Moffett Field in California. “This institute will fulfill NASA’s desire to make deliberate investments in innovative, early stage and potentially revolutionary aviation concepts and technologies,” said Jaiwon Shin, NASA’s associate administrator for aeronautics research. “We want innovation not only within our technical portfolio, but also in the management of it. NARI represents a new approach to introduce fresh lines of research.”

NARI will be comprised of multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary research teams creating new tools and technologies for reducing air traffic congestion and environmental impacts, improving safety, and designing aircraft with unconventional capabilities, NASA said. The institute will be funded with $10 million per year to distribute for early-stage concepts. As a virtual institute, NARI will facilitate technical exchanges, solicit research proposals, award research grants, and use technologies such as web-based seminars to disseminate research findings.