WASHINGTON — NASA will host LAUNCH: Health, a global forum focusing on health issues, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida from Oct. 30-31. NASA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, and NIKE are partnering on LAUNCH to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to sustainability challenges through a series of forums.

LAUNCH forums focus on key areas, including water, air, food, and energy. They provide a venue for evaluating creative ideas among peers and collaborative, solution-driven discussions.

This second forum, LAUNCH: Health, will bring together entrepreneurs from around the world who will be selected based on their innovative approaches to addressing health issues. During the two-and-a-half day forum, they will discuss their proposed solutions to health issues with “council members” who represent business, policy, engineering, science, communications and sustainability sectors. The sessions are designed to identify challenges and discuss future opportunities for entrepreneurs’ innovations.

LAUNCH: Health seeks transformative innovations to improve health and the quality of life on Earth, specifically for people in the first 20 years of life, in the following categories:

– Nutrition and food
– Physical activity
– Preventive health care

“NASA’s interest in technology development and problem solving in the area of human health issues makes hosting this discussion among innovators and thought leaders a natural fit,” NASA’s Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “Solutions to health issues here on Earth have the potential to benefit space explorers of the future, as well as humankind overall.”

Problem solvers can submit their ideas through the InnoCentive website, which allows NASA to collaborate with people throughout the world who are interested in sustainability issues. Challenges are posted online for which problem solvers can submit solutions. Innovators can submit their proposals via the LAUNCH InnoCentive challenge at: https://gw.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9625880

“NASA is enthusiastic about LAUNCH: Health and its focus on identifying and accelerating innovative strategies to address human health and performance in challenging environments,” said Dr. Jeff Davis, director of Space Life Sciences at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “Innovative health solutions for diagnostic capability in remote locations on Earth and in space require simple, rugged, portable, devices with low power requirements. Forums such as Launch allow NASA to contribute to and benefit from the ideas of many people.”

“We see LAUNCH as a great opportunity to support innovators and entrepreneurs who are helping provide sustainable solutions to today’s biggest development challenges,” added Alex Dehgan, director of USAID’s Office of Science and Technology.

U.S. journalists are invited to attend the two-day forum. In addition to regular Kennedy Space Center media credentials, reporters must register in advance. To RSVP, reporters should contact David Steitz at 202-358-1730 or david.steitz@nasa.gov by Sept. 24.

The forum will be streamed online on UStream, discussed through social media outlets including Twitter, and featured on NASA’s Buzzroom. http://buzzroom.nasa.gov

To learn more about LAUNCH, visit: http://www.launch.org

For information about NASA and its programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov