Selected teams stand to receive as much as $100,000 annually for two years and will work with agency engineers and scientists from six NASA centers, the agency announced Monday.
The agency initially received 100 proposals for the Small Spacecraft Technology Program, which intends to develop space exploration and operation tools.
Some of the teams included in the project come from the University of Colorado, University of Houston, Marquette University and Appalachian State University.
Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for NASA's space technology mission directorate, said the teams come from 13 different states.
NASA expects that some of the project's deliverables to include miniature radio and navigation devices, energy storage devices, low-power laser communications, radiation-tolerant computers and electric propulsion for deep space missions.
The full list of university teams and their winning proposals can be found here.