Relationship with NASA

NASA and the Regents of the University of California on behalf of UC Berkeley entered into a Space Act Agreement in the fall of 2022. The Nonreimbursable Space Act Agreement was written to establish collaborative activities in STEM initiatives spanning science, engineering, technology development, computer science and policy. The initial agreement encompasses joint workshops and conferences. This agreement will be expanded as more pathways for collaboration get defined.  

NASA is a federal agency comprised of 10 different centers located around the country. Berkeley Space Center’s co-location with NASA’s Ames Research Center affords a connection to the entire agency. Ames works closely with all of the other NASA centers, so UC Berkeley’s affiliations with Ames will allow the university to tap into Ames’ connections with the other centers. Moreover, NASA partners with other federal agencies, other countries, and many private and academic institutions. UC Berkeley will be able to expand its own network of collaborators through this relationship with NASA. Similarly, Berkeley Space Center can serve as the conduit for other UC campuses and the university’s many public and private partners who would like to work more closely with NASA.

UC Berkeley is developing multiple collaborations to accelerate the joint work with NASA and the growth of a new community. This includes:

  • Internships for UC Berkeley students at NASA, through the variety of channels offered by NASA, either directly, through subcontracts, or other forms of partnership.

  • Contracts, grants or research and development work funded by NASA.

  • Teaching and lectureship opportunities made available to NASA researchers so students can learn from experts in different fields.

  • Joint research projects, harnessing the expertise and unique capabilities from each of the institutions.

  • Workshops, seminars, research exchanges, leveraging the hundreds of labs and research groups both organizations host.

  • The development of curriculum reflecting the latest advances in science and engineering, so the university’s graduates are primed to become professionals at NASA.

  • Professors from the university becoming visiting researchers at NASA.

  • Educational programs leveraging the many academic disciplines at the university to develop the NASA workforce.

Many of these have been ongoing for several decades. New pathways for partnership are starting now with the dawn of Berkeley Space Center. We expect that when the Berkeley Space Center is officially opened, there will be a multitude of ways that NASA and UC Berkeley will be working together to transform aviation and explore all parts of our solar system and beyond.