NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC)

The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) is a body run by USRA (Universities Space Research Association), under contract to NASA, to provide an independent forum for the external analysis and definition of space and aeronautics advanced concepts. Through a series of open solicitations, NIAC seeks proposals from the science and engineering community to develop advanced concepts in aeronautics and space. According to the terms of the contract, these advanced concepts should be "new," "revolutionary," "imaginative," and aimed at becoming aerospace missions over the next 10–40 years.