SBIR @ NASA
Ms. Gustetic is the Program Executive for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR/STTR) at NASA Headquarters. The NASA SBIR and STTR programs fund small businesses approximately $200M annually for research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies that fulfill NASA needs and have significant potential for successful commercialization.
Ms. Gustetic worked at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2014-2016 as the Assistant Director for Open Innovation where she was responsible for scaling the use of open innovation approaches like prizes, crowdsourcing, and citizen science across the Federal Government. Among other accomplishments, in this role she co-founded GSA’s citizenscience.gov program and oversaw a cumulative doubling of the use of incentive prizes government-wide (from 350 total prizes conducted from 2010-2014 to 700 total prizes from 2010-2016).
This White House role built on her previous experience as NASA’s Prizes and Challenges Program Executive where she served as NASA’s principle advocate, advisor and strategist for open innovation methods, As described by Popular Mechanics in August 2014: “In 2012, [NASA] also hired Jenn Gustetic, a vivacious woman with an aerospace engineering degree and a master’s in technology policy from MIT, to engage the public as the first-ever Challenges and Prizes program executive. In this role, Gustetic, 32, uses her brains, charm, and wicked networking skills to increase grassroots participation in NASA’s far-ranging mission. In the process, she’s breaking down the wall that once separated a massive bureaucracy from the people it was supposed to serve.” Ms. Gustetic also led NASA’s formulation efforts for its Grand Challenges including the Asteroid Grand Challenge to “find all asteroid threats to human populations and know what to do about them”.
Additionally, Ms. Gustetic has consulted several Federal Government agencies on open government issues such as the Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development as the Associate Director for Strategic Engagement and Communications at Phase One Consulting Group. She also served as a Federal employee at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as the senior program analyst for $400 million in annual transportation security grant programs.
Ms. Gustetic holds a bachelors degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in technology policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Starting at the first Dent conference five years ago, we have been stressing our desire to enhance “associative fluency” among our attendees in order to better drive innovation via combinatorial creativity. Over the years we have largely addressed this via strategic and philosophical approaches. One of our favorite stories depicting this power of “connecting dots” […]