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Award Categories & Eligibility

NASA's Innovation Awards

The Innovation Awards are comprised of two separate categories:

Lean Forward; Fail Smart Award

As an Agency that welcomes and nurtures a culture of innovation, failure is seen as merely a stepping stone to success. So, whenever you encounter failure, use it as an opportunity for learning. As long as you are a responsible risk taker and always strive for success, a few bumps in the road will only make you a better innovator.

So, whether the innovation involves creating something new, improving an existing technology or process, or adapting a tried and true idea to a new context, the purpose of this category is to showcase innovative behavior within NASA.

Eligibility
*Please note: Winners of the 2015 Innovation Awards are not eligible to be nominated for the 2016 Awards process.

Nominations may be submitted for innovative performance that has been in effect for at least one year prior to the date of this submission.

The Lean Forward; Fail Smart Award is open to all NASA employees, teams, and contractors located at NASA Headquarters and all Centers. Individual and peer nominations will be accepted for the Lean Forward; Fail Smart category directly from civil-servant employees.

However, all nominations that include one or more contractor employees (to include individual and team nominations) must be sponsored by the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) for the contract that the contractor employee nominee(s) are working under and must be received from the COR.

*Individuals of an innovation team cannot nominate themselves for the collective innovative work of the team--the entire team must be submitted for the nomination.

Champion of Innovation Award

Supervisors/managers play a unique role in fostering innovation at NASA. In addition to being innovative themselves, they can support and encourage their employees to think outside the box and become creative problem solvers.

Eligibility
*Please note: Winners of the 2015 Innovation Awards are not eligible to be nominated for the 2016 Awards process.

Nominations may be submitted for innovative performance that has been in effect for at least one year prior to the date of this submission.

The Champion of Innovation Award is open to NASA civil servants in a supervisory/managerial role only.

Individuals may not self-nominate for the Champion of Innovation Award. Nominations may only be submitted by a group of (at-least two or more) subordinates to the nominee.