NASA, USAID, Department of State, and NIKE joined together to form LAUNCH in an effort to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to sustainability challenges through a series of forums. LAUNCH searches for visionaries, whose world-class ideas, technologies or programs show great promise for making tangible impacts on society. Through the next Launch series, 10 innovators and 40 thought leaders will come together to address an issue that affects every human: health.
Sustaining quality of life on Earth and in space requires transformative advances in science and technology, along with new models, policies and behaviors that will guide human development. The search for innovative technology solutions to ensure healthy astronauts orbiting the planet mirrors healthcare challenges faced by providers throughout the world. The same requirements for simple, rugged, ultra portable, low power devices to provide remote diagnostic capability serves dual needs for humans living within the extreme environments on and off the planet. Targeting preventative health measures within the first twenty years of life offers a unique opportunity to change the human condition for this and future generations.
LAUNCH seeks innovations that are preventive with a focus on nutrition, exercise, and health care. Specifically, LAUNCH is seeking innovations in providing and improving:
- Optimal nutrition (access, choice, and quality of nutritious food and required nutrients)
- Regular participation in physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices.
- Participation in primary preventive health care including supporting infrastructure, such as diagnostic and monitoring technology
Through a series of forums focused on key challenge areas, including water, air, food, and energy, LAUNCH gives thought leaders a venue for evaluating creative ideas among peers and joining in collaborative, solution-driven discussions. Following the forum, the LAUNCH Accelerator team will provide individual support to each innovator to help integrate LAUNCH forum recommendations, and move each innovation closer to successful implementation.
The inaugural LAUNCH: Water took place March 16-18, 2010 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
LAUNCH: Health is scheduled for October 30-November 1 in conjunction with the STS-133 Space Shuttle launch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Special thanks to our LAUNCH: Health forum capacity partners Vestergaard Frandsen and IDEO.
LAUNCH Founding Partners:
Through LAUNCH, NASA is poised to host a conversation with experts about potential solutions to the world’s most perplexing sustainability problems. NASA brings to the table a problem-solving culture, deep technical expertise on sustainable systems such as the International Space Station, and a unique capacity to capture and analyze data about our home planet.
USAID sees LAUNCH as an opportunity to support innovators and entrepreneurs in the fields most critical to sustainable international development. USAID brings technical expertise and access to networks of technical experts and development professionals. LAUNCH is breaking new ground in how best to support both entrepreneurs and the technical solutions they bring to international development problems. USAID seeks to move ideas to first implementation and impact at scale as quickly as possible.
NIKE is committed to driving new sustainable technologies, programs, and business models through open innovation and global collaboration. Harnessing its core competencies of design and innovation, NIKE partners with leading entrepreneurs and thinkers to work towards a new sustainable economy. NIKE’s passion for innovation and driving positive global change is complimented and activated through the Company’s proven ability to rapidly commercialize technologies and business models across a global value chain.
LAUNCH provides the Department of State with an opportunity to support our nation’s most important diplomatic and development objectives. The Department of State will facilitate international expertise and understanding on the different topics, highlighting the U.S. Government’s commitment to a better world. The Department of State will provide technical and thought leadership, fostering collaborative dialogue, and catalyzing the most innovative solutions. The Department of State’s approach to world issues and the Secretary’s focus on partnerships will facilitate better engagement with communities and people around this planet.
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