The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory has published its fiscal year 2018 (FY18, September year-end) results. The full report including all the details can be found here. For our investor community, we highlight below a subset of data showing continued growth in project volumes, growing private-sector and capital engagement, as well as continued value creation.
FY18 was a record-breaking year for portfolio expansion and private-sector utilization of the ISS National Lab. Annual awarded project volumes continued to expand, growing by more than 10% during the year. Importantly, more than 60% of the annual awarded projects in FY18 emanated from commercial sectors, with the rest from nonprofit and academic institutions. Life sciences remained the dominant industry vertical, amounting to nearly 40% of awarded projects, while we also saw strong growth in physical sciences, technology development, and new ISS-based facilities projects.
In terms of payloads delivered to the ISS National Lab in FY18, we saw five launch vehicles delivering 74 payloads, many of which contained multiple projects and investigations across diverse sectors. More than 70% of launched payloads represented investigations from the private sector and included projects from Fortune 500 companies, innovative startups, and leading awareness-building media. Two new commercially operated facilities were installed on the ISS National Lab during the year, taking the total of such facilities to 14. The time it takes for ISS National Lab projects to transition from concept to award continues to shorten, declining 50% since 2016. Furthermore, our network of innovative implementation partners that provide commercial services to ISS National Lab users expanded to 45 during the year.
On the capital access front, more than $150 million of funding from external, non-NASA sources is now invested in the full ISS National Lab project portfolio. This represents more than two times the seed funding received by the ISS National Lab from NASA over the comparable time period. During FY18, more than $19 million in third-party funding was committed through various multiyear sponsored programs, such as those in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and Boeing.
The ISS National Lab investor network continued to expand rapidly in FY18, nearly doubling in membership during the fiscal year. By now, the network membership is approaching 130 firms and institutions across venture capital and corporate investor communities. In July 2018, we held our third annual startup pitch event “Space Investment 2018” in conjunction with the ISS Research and Development Conference in San Francisco. The well-attended event brought together venture capitalists and corporate investors with innovators and entrepreneurs, resulting in numerous capital introductions. Over the last three years, we have provided hundreds of capital introductions to more than 40 early stage companies. During this time period, we have seen these companies raise close to $200 million in capital.
Late in FY18, we launched our ISS National Lab Investment Portal, and we currently have 17 companies posting investment opportunities on this platform. Further detail can be found by logging in here.