From: Reason (
Date: Thu Jun 06 2002 - 20:40:49 MDT

[Eliezer recommended I post this to the SL4 list].

My company, VIPMobile (, a young Bay Area,
California telecom VAS concern) is geared up for the STTR/SBIR programs at
NASA this year. One of my cofounders has extensive government contracting
experience and I used to claim to be an astrophysicist, so this seems like a
logical sideline for revenue growth. The Small Business Innovation Research
and Small Business Technology Transfer programs have a comparatively high
rate of solicitation success in Phase I (~15-20% for $70-100,000 research
grants) and a low cost of entry (good ideas, contacts at NASA, 25 page
semi-technical paper).

Some URLs:

We've been chatting to people at Ames and JPL and generally doing the rounds
up to the blackout period (from now until the solicitation deadline on
August 21st). Among the hot topics this year are a number of AI-related
items. This would be AI in the business-non-rigorous-autonomous-software
sense, of course:

- software allowing autonomous operation of vehicles
- software for autonomous decision making, prioritization and optimization
at a number of levels
- software allowing for autonomous optimization and timing of data

And more than a few others. In general, NASA is trying to raise the
conceptual level at which operators interact with mission vehicles and
components. e.g. "go have a look around and see what's interesting" as
opposed to "move forward 10 feet, extend probe X, etc...". This extends to
many parts of NASA, not just the sexy Mars mission types. The earth science
groups would love better and more hands-off ways to schedule and prioritize
instrument use on satellites or sifting of data sets, for example.

VIPMobile is current open to talking with any groups who would be interested
in collaborating in submitting one or more proposals. I can be reached for
serious discussion by interested parties at General
questions, commentaries and the like can be kept to this list :)

CTO, VIPMobile

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