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Boryung Launches 2024 Humans In Space Challenge: Sending Experiments into Orbit

  • Boryung to support the launch of space experiments into orbit for selected startups and researchers
  • Held for the third consecutive year, HIS presents an expanded ecosystem of engagements with NASA, ISS National Lab, MIT, and major space companies
  • Humans In Space(HIS) will serve as a global space healthcare platform, enabling the realization of ideas from ground-based research to space experiments

SEOUL, South Korea, May 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Boryung, a leading healthcare investment company, announced the launch of the 2024 Humans In Space (HIS) Challenge in collaboration with global partners. The HIS Challenge, now in its third year, is an idea competition Boryung has led since 2022 to build a global space healthcare ecosystem by gathering various space healthcare leaders and ideas.

In 2023, 130 teams from 33 countries applied, and 7 startups and 5 research teams were selected through the final pitch held at ASCEND, the largest space industrial conference in the United States, who were then awarded with equity investment and research grants, respectively.

The newly implemented structure for this year’s program supports the realization of breakthrough ideas in space, including the International Space Station (ISS). Under this innovative approach, the HIS Challenge will serve as a full-fledged global space healthcare platform, aiming to gather companies and researchers around the world with space healthcare-relevant ideas and enable them to progress from ground-based research to space experiments.

“Boryung led in shaping and promoting the global space healthcare ecosystem until last year,” said Jack Lim, Head of Boryung’s New Portfolio Investment (NPI) Group. “From this year, Humans In Space will play the pivotal role as a platform for promising technologies and research projects to conduct breakthrough space experiments and advance further.”

The HIS Challenge covers two domains of topics: critical healthcare problems that hinder astronauts from exploring deeper and father in space and critical health problems on Earth that could be solved through the space environment. Any startups and researchers with relevant research and business plans are eligible to apply.

HIS continues to collaborate closely with key global partners, including essential government agencies and major space companies. This year’s challenge topics reflects critical healthcare problems identified in discussion with prominent national institutions such as the NASA Human Research Program (HRP), which focus on astronaut health and performance research, and the ISS National Lab. Along with the MIT Space Exploration Initiative, the global medical and healthcare R&D centers will join as accelerators to advance critical ideas.

In the subsequent stages of preparing and conducting space experiments, HIS will collaborate with a diverse range of space companies and investors, including Intuitive Machines, Axiom Space, and Redwire.

Applications for the HIS Challenge are open until June 27 on the HIS website at www.humansinspaceofficial.com. After the first round of application screening and the second round of virtual pitch evaluation, HIS will select the final awardees in October. The 2024 HIS Challenge enables the final awardees’ on-orbit experiments and establishes a global space healthcare ecosystem to promote robust partnership and growth models. The space healthcare ecosystem established by HIS will share the experimental data and technologies generated from the on-orbit experiments, fostering sustainable collaboration with partners.

The funding model for this year’s final awardees has been redesigned to focus on implementing space experiments, marking a significant step forward from previous years. The model offers two distinct options: R&D investment with the prospect of future intellectual property (IP) revenue sharing, and equity investment. Selected startups can choose between receiving up to $250,000 in R&D funding to conduct experiments on the space station or opting for equity investment, while the HIS grants R&D investment for researchers.

In addition to the investments, the final awardees will benefit from networking opportunities with HIS partners and industry professionals. These networks will open doors for further collaboration and partnerships in technology development, fostering an ecosystem that nurtures innovation in the field of space medicine.

More information on the Humans In Space Challenge can be found at www.humansinspaceofficial.com.

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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