The MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium (MSRDC) and NASA Form New Partnership for HBCU/MSI Research

05/25/2021 12:05 PM

Contact: Latonia Jones, [email protected]

Washington, D.C.
– The MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium (MSRDC) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have entered into a Cooperative Agreement to foster public-private partnerships between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Small Business Concerns (SBCs) toward active participation in NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.  The STTR program facilitates the transfer of technology developed by a research institution through the entrepreneurship of a small business concern, (read more here).  MSRDC and NASA share the common goal of engaging diverse talent at MSIs and facilitating their partnership with SBCs to create and sustain ground-breaking innovations that answer NASA’s technology needs.


The five-year, $2.7M partnership opens the door for numerous engagement and research opportunities for MSRDC’s membership of MSIs and private industry partners across the nation.  The partnership will increase engagement with MSIs, HBCUs and small businesses, foster public-private collaborations and leverage unique resources to meet the technology priorities of NASA’s 10 Research Centers (read more here).


Michael Hester, President and CEO of MSRDC, commented, “We are pleased to enter into this cooperative agreement with NASA, which is in itself a public-private partnership with the aim of facilitating focused and effective teaming arrangements between academia and industry.  This is an opportunity for us to ensure that our minority serving schools can form productive partnerships with small businesses to engage in cutting-edge research and address the current and future technological challenges of NASA.”


Through the formalized relationship, MSRDC seeks to strengthen and expand HBCU and MSI participation from underrepresented pools of science and engineering talent at MSIs in partnership with SBCs.  MSRDC will guide and facilitate both by aligning their unique capabilities with NASA’s research priorities to increase participation in the NASA STTR research program.



The MSI STEM Research & Development Consortium (MSRDC) is a national strategic research and entrepreneurial asset that provides a unique funding mechanism for agencies across government to work with Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) on federally funded, mission-critical research projects.  With a portfolio of over $32 million and growing, the MSRDC enables its membership of minority serving institutions and non-MSI collaborative partners to participate in basic, applied and advanced technology research projects of significant importance to national security as well as national civilian research priorities.  The unique, MSRDC funding vehicle permits MSI members and sponsoring federal research agencies to engage one another individually or collaboratively via rapidly funded research awards.


About NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is America’s civil space program and the global leader in space exploration. The agency has a diverse workforce of just under 18,000 civil servants, and works with many more U.S. contractors, academia, and international and commercial partners to explore, discover, and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity. With an annual budget of $23.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2021, which is less than 0.5% of the overall U.S. federal budget, NASA supports more than 312,000 jobs across the United States, generating more than $64.3 billion in total economic output (Fiscal Year 2019).


At its 20 centers and facilities across the country – and the only National Laboratory in space – NASA studies Earth, including its climate, our Sun, and our solar system and beyond. We conduct research, testing, and development to advance aeronautics, including electric propulsion and supersonic flight. We develop and fund space technologies that will enable future exploration and benefit life on Earth.


NASA also leads a Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes working with U.S. industry, international partners, and academia to develop new technology, and send science research and soon humans to explore the Moon on Artemis missions that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. In addition to those major missions, the agency shares what it learns so that its information can make life better for people worldwide. For example, companies use NASA discoveries and technologies to create new products for the public. To ensure future success for the agency and the nation, NASA also supports education efforts in STEM with an emphasis on increasing diversity in our future workforce.