HyPoint, the company developing zero-carbon emission hydrogen fuel cell systems for aviation and urban air mobility, announced that it has been named one of three winners of the 2020 NASA iTech Initiative Cycle II , in which inventive technologies were ranked based on criteria that included technical viability, likely impact on future space exploration, benefits to humanity, and commercialization potential.
Through the iTech initiative, NASA curates technologies that could help the agency accomplish future exploration goals and seeks to connect innovators with respected technical experts and with potential investors. This cycle called for innovative technologies in the areas of power generation and energy, integrated photonics, advanced engineered materials, and miniaturized systems. HyPoint’s aeronautic applications — including eVTOLs, UAVs, PAVs, and electric aircraft — stood out to the judges. The other winners were AutonomIQ and Rapair Medical Devices.
“NASA iTech aims to shine a light on companies and technologies that could benefit NASA through their commercial success,” said acting NASA iTech Program Executive Maxwell Briggs. “The goal is to allow private investment to fund development and allow for the technology to mature in the private sector for potential future use by NASA.”
The company also announced that GurKimchi, former Vice President of Amazon Prime Air, has joined HyPoint as an advisor. After joining Amazon in 2012, Gur co-founded the Amazon Prime Air delivery-by-drone project and led the organization for the next seven years, culminating in August 2020 when Amazon received an FAA Part 135 commercial airline certificate. Prior to Amazon, Gur spent ten years at Microsoft where he was integral in the development of key technologies including Virtual Earth and Bing Maps; Contextual and Geosocial search; Cloud Infrastructure; Augmented and Virtual Reality; and Enterprise Communications. A veteran of five early stage companies, Gur previously served on the board of Waze (acquired by Google) and was one of the early developers of VoIP technology and IP-based telecommunications interoperability standards. Gur is a founding member of the FAA Drone Advisory Committee, and worked in collaboration with the FAA, SESAR, NASA, and ICAO on the development of the Federated Airspace Management Architecture, enabling the safe integration of drones into the airspace around the world.