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Army Expeditionary Technology Search (xTechSearch)

About the Challenge
Linking Innovators Directly with the Army to Spur Innovation

Posted By: Department of Defense--Military Programs
Category: Scientific/Engineering
Skill: Scientific Interest: Science & Research Partnership With: Department of Defense
Submission Dates: 8 p.m. ET, Jun 15, 2018 - 12 a.m. ET, Jul 12, 2018

THANK YOU

The Army would like to thank all participants for the inaugural Army Expeditionary Technology Search! The application window for the Phase I proposals has now closed, and winners will be notified according to the following schedule:

Adelphi Pitches: 23 July 2018

Austin Pitches: 30 July 2018

Chicago Pitches: 6 August 2018

Boston Pitches: 13 August 2018

Playa Vista Pitches: 20 August 2018

 

 

NOTE: Phase I submissions should include both white paper and registration form and be sent to: usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil. Specific instructions and deadlines are described below.

Registration Form: xTechSearch-Registration-Form

 

Background Information:

The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) is announcing the Army Expeditionary Technology Search – xTechSearch – to be featured at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on 8 to 10 October 2018. xTechSearch will highlight opportunities for nontraditional defense partners to collaborate with the Army to tackle the most poignant Army modernization challenges.

The ASA(ALT) recognizes that the Army must enhance engagements with the entrepreneurial funded community, small businesses, and other non-traditional defense partners, by: (1) understanding the spectrum of technologies being developed commercially that may benefit the Army; (2) integrating the sector of nontraditional innovators into the Army’s research and development ecosystem; and (3) providing mentorship and expertise to accelerate, mature, and transition technologies of interest to the Army.

Pursuant to Title 15, United States Code, Section 3719, the xTechSearch competition will provide prizes to select businesses for innovative technologies and ideas that can solve Army challenges. The program will also integrate these nontraditional innovators into the Army’s Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem by providing cooperative research opportunities with Army labs, including access to the Army’s organic intellectual and technical capital. xTechSearch is an opportunity for small businesses to pitch technology solutions – a new application for an existing technology or a new technology concept entirely – to the Army.

xTechSearch is a novel approach for linking innovators directly with the Army labs, with a focus on lowering the entrance barriers and spurring innovation.

 

Eligibility Requirements:

The entities allowed to participate in this competition are small businesses as defined in 13 C.F.R. Part 121. To qualify, the participating entity must fall within the size standard by North American Industry Classification System code 541713, 541714, and 541715.

There may be only one submission per business. In addition, each entity:

  • Shall provide registration information in the xTechSearch Cover Letter registration form;
  • Shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States;
  • Shall perform the work in the United States.
  • May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.

Registered participants shall be required to agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in a prize competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

Participants shall be required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility, in amounts determined by the Army, for claims by—

  • Third parties for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in a prize competition, with the Federal Government named as an additional insured under the registered participant’s insurance policy and registered participants agreeing to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to prize competition activities; and
  • Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.

 

Intellectual property

The Army is a strong proponent of deliberate intellectual property (IP) rights and management by the private sector and the Department of Defense. A deliberate and commercially oriented IP management posture will foster greater innovation while preventing the loss of military technologies to open sources which may benefit adversaries. Enhanced IP management, coupled with modularity and open system architecture, improves our ability to deliver systems that can be readily adapted to partner needs and integrated with their existing systems while advancing interoperability.

For the xTechSearch program:

  • The Federal Government may not gain an interest in IP developed by a participant without the written consent of the participant;
  • Nothing in the xTechSearch prize competition shall diminish the Government’s rights in patents, technical data, technical information, computer software, computer databases and computer software documentation that the Government had prior to this xTechSearch prize competition, or is entitled to, under any other Government Agreement of contract, or is otherwise entitled to under law; and
  • The Federal Government may negotiate a license for the use of IP developed by a registered participant in the prize competition.

 

Technology Focus Areas:

The Army wants the innovation community to explore the full ideation space and the art-of-the-possible. The ASA(ALT) is soliciting innovative, paradigm-breaking technologies from the nontraditional defense community to support the following Army modernization priorities:

  • Long Range Precision Fires. Provide massed, mobile, operational-level kinetic and non-kinetic strike options to restore overmatch, improve deterrence, and disrupt Anti-Access/Area-Denial (A2/AD) on a complex, contested, and expanded battlefield. Potential technology areas include:
    • Propulsion for extended long-range missiles
    • Extended range cannon artillery
    • Enhanced guidance/navigation for weapon systems
    • Advanced energetics
    • Advanced warheads for cluster munitions
    • Next-generation RADARs
  • Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV). Develop replacements for current tanks and infantry fighting vehicles that realize weight, sustainment, and cost-per-unit savings. This will increase the capability of our existing formations and improve our ability to survive and win in the complex and densely urbanized terrain of an intensely lethal and distributed battlefield where all domains are continually contested. Potential technology areas include:
    • NGCV Design
    • Vehicle Protection against advanced threats
    • Robotics and autonomy for combat operations and logistics
    • Advanced power generation
    • Advanced materials
    • Efficient Manned-Unmanned Teaming Constructs
    • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Autonomy
  • Future Vertical Lift (FVL) to develop replacement aviation platforms that include unmanned and autonomous attack, reconnaissance, utility, and MEDEVAC with increased speed and extended range and station time to operate in complex, dense urban terrain on an intensely lethal, distributed, and expanded battlefield within contested air space. Potential technology areas include:
    • Platform development and demonstration
    • Next-generation unmanned aircraft system technologies
    • Aviation protection and aircraft survivability
    • Improved situational awareness
    • Integrated Mission Systems
    • Advanced power systems
    • Efficient Manned-Unmanned Teaming Constructs
    • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Autonomy
  • Network with hardware, software, and infrastructure to provide resilient mission command on the move to wage the maneuver ISR, joint fires, and sustainment fights to retain and exploit the initiative against a peer adversary in an inherently contested cyber and electromagnetic environment. Potential technology areas include:
    • Secure Tactical Communications
    • Interoperable hardware, software, and information systems
    • Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA)
    • Assured Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT)
    • Persistent Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)
  • Air and Missile Defense to reduce the cost curve of missile defense, restore overmatch, survive volley-fire attacks, and operate within sophisticated A2/AD and contested domains. Potential technology areas include:
    • Maneuver-Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD)
    • Smaller and more affordable missiles
    • High Energy Lasers
    • Gun-based counter-tactical and small unmanned air systems (UAS) capabilities
    • Advanced seekers
    • Advanced energetics and propulsion
    • Next-generation RADARs
  • Soldier Lethality to improve Soldier and small unit performance, reduce surprise, increase protection, and enhance lethality in close combat on an intensely lethal and distributed battlefield and within complex, urban terrain. Potential technology areas include:
    • Advanced lethality and projection
    • Training
    • Improved Soldier protection equipment
    • Improved situational awareness and communications
    • Optimized and enhanced human performance
    • Asymmetric Vision and Decide Faster technologies
    • Prolonged field medical care

 

Proposal Submission

The xTechSearch program is voluntary and open to all interested traditional and nontraditional small businesses. xTechSearch is an opportunity for businesses to pitch novel technology solutions – a new application for an existing technology or a new technology concept entirely – to the Army. The Army will also provide opportunities to engage with Army laboratory assets across the United States, including establishing Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, Cooperative Research Alliances, Commercial Test Agreements, and additional engagement opportunities with Army Subject Matter Expertise.

The Phase I proposal must include a white paper describing the novel technology concept, innovative application concept and integration with the Army’s modernization priorities and a completed xTechSearch registration form. Please submit a technology proposal concept white paper (no greater than 1,000 words) and the xTechSearch registration form to the ASA(ALT) at usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil by 11 July 2018. Any proprietary information must be marked and clearly identified by respondents.

When responding, please complete the xTechSearch registration form included in the announcement that includes a brief description of the company, any previous or on-going work with the Department of Defense, alignment to modernization priority and a company point-of-contact with a phone number and e-mail address.

xTechSearch-Registration-Form

Evaluation Criteria and Process

The xTechSearch proposals will be evaluated and ranked in a multi-tiered manner.

Phase I: Concept White Paper Contest

The Concept White Paper phase invites all eligible contestants to complete a concept paper outlining their knowledge, skills, capabilities and approach for this challenge. Contestants’ concept papers will be reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts and judges who will select those contestants to be invited to the xTechSearch Technology Pitch Forums. Contestants selected by the panel will receive a prize of $1,000 and an invitation to Phase II: xTechSearch Technology Pitches.

Concept White Papers will be ranked based on the novelty of the proposed technology to revolutionizing and modernizing the Army. Each white paper must include the following:

  • Proposed Army Modernization Priority that aligns to the submission
  • Proposed concept and current technology maturity:
    • Basic science concept – Fundamental disruption
    • Demonstration or Prototype concept – Rapid integration and operational disruption
  • Desired Technology Pitch location (Playa Vista, CA; Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; or Adelphi, MD)
  • Submitter Information:
    • Name, Address
    • Point of Contact (Technical, Administrative)

Scoring Criteria:

  • Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 50%
  • Scientific and Engineering Viability – 30%
  • Team Experience and Abilities – 20%

Phase II: xTechSearch Technology Pitches

The xTechSearch Technology Pitch Contest invites all selected contestants to complete an in-person Technology pitch to a panel of Army and Department of Defense subject matter experts and judges at select locations across the United States. Contestants will pitch their proposed novel technology solution and a proof-of-concept demonstration. Finalists selected by the judging panel will receive a prize of $5,000 and an invitation to attend Phase III: AUSA Innovators’ Corner in Washington D.C.

xTechSearch will schedule five (5) Technology Pitch outreach events at Army Open Campus locations across the country (Playa Vista, CA; Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; and Adelphi, MD); up to twenty five (25) companies that submitted Concept White Paper proposals will be invited to pitch their technologies to Army Subject Matter Experts at each outreach event. Finalists will be selected based on the propensity of the technology to impact/revolutionize Army missions, viability to solve an Army capability gap, and demonstrated experience and abilities.

xTechSearch Technology Pitches will be ranked based on the novelty of the proposed technology to revolutionizing and modernizing the Army. Each technology pitch must include a proposal to demonstrate proof-of-concept for the technologies within 6 months.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 50%
  • Scientific and Engineering Viability; Proof-of-Concept Demonstration Plan – 30%
  • Team Experience and Abilities – 20%

Phase III: AUSA Innovators’ Corner

The AUSA Innovators’ Corner Contest will invite xTechSearch finalists (up to twenty five (25)) to be featured at the AUSA Innovators’ Corner at the AUSA national meeting, 8-10 October 2018 in Washington, D.C. The finalists will leverage Army-sponsored exhibit space to engage with Department of Defense (DoD) customers, industry partners, and academia.

Up to twelve (12) Phase III prize winners scoring highest in Phase II will be announced at AUSA and provided a prize of $125,000 and 6 months to demonstrate proof-of-concept for their xTechSearch technology, to be demonstrated at the Phase IV: xTechSearch Capstone Demonstration.

Scoring Criteria:

  • Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 50%
  • Scientific and Engineering Viability; Proof-of-Concept Demonstration Plan – 30%
  • Team Experience and Abilities – 20%

Phase IV: xTechSearch Capstone Demonstration

The xTechSearch Capstone Demonstration will provide a final demonstration for each Phase III winner to demonstrate proof-of-concept for their technology solution to DoD, government, and industry leadership. The winner of the xTechSearch will be provided $200,000.

 

Prizes & Incentives

Prizes will be offered under 15 USC §3719 (Prize competitions). The total prize pool is $1.95M.

Each prize winner will also be offered opportunities to partner with one or more of the Army laboratories across the country, with access to Army subject matter experts, laboratory equipment, and other research support assets.

 

Phase Number of Winners Prize
Phase I. Concept White Paper 125 $1,000

Selection for Phase II

Phase II. xTechSearch Pitches 25 $5,000

Selection for Phase III

Phase III. Innovators’ Corner 12 $125,000

Selection for Phase IV

Phase IV. xTechSearch Capstone Demonstration 1 $200,000

 

Proposed Schedule (Subject to Adjustments):

Phase I.

  • 15 June 2018. Publish Request for Information (RFI) with target technology areas and outreach events.
  • 11 July 2018. Deadline for proposal submissions.

Phase II.

  • 23 July 2018. Adelphi Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
  • Week of 30 July. Adelphi xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Open Campus, Adelphi, MD.
  • 30 July 2018. Austin Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
  • Week of 6 August. Austin xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL South Campus, Austin, TX.
  • 6 August 2018. Chicago Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
  • Week of 13 August. Chicago xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Central Campus, Chicago, IL.
  • 13 August 2018. Boston Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
  • Week of 20 August. Boston xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Northeast Campus, Boston, MA.
  • 20 August 2018. Playa Vista Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
  • Week of 27 August. Playa Vista xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL West Campus, Playa Vista, CA.

Phase III.

  • 17 September 2018. Phase III finalists notified and invited to AUSA Annual Meeting.
  • 8-10 October 2018. Phase III AUSA Innovators’ Corner, Washington, DC.

Phase IV.

  • April 2019. Capstone Demonstration with Senior Army Leadership.

 

Point of Contact

The xTechSearch Coordinators are listed below:

Dr. Matt Willis and Mr. Joshua Israel

ASA(ALT)

Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Research and Technology

2800 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202

Email: usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil

 

 

How to Enter

The xTechSearch program is voluntary and open to all interested traditional and nontraditional small businesses. xTechSearch is an opportunity for businesses to pitch novel technology solutions – a new application for an existing technology or a new technology concept entirely – to the Army. The Army will also provide opportunities to engage with Army laboratory assets across the United States, including establishing Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, Cooperative Research Alliances, Commercial Test Agreements, and additional engagement opportunities with Army Subject Matter Expertise.

 

The Phase I proposal must include a white paper describing the novel technology concept, innovative application concept and integration with the Army’s modernization priorities and a completed xTechSearch registration form. Please submit a technology proposal concept white paper (no greater than 1,000 words) and the xTechSearch registration form to the ASA(ALT) at usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil by 11 July 2018. Any proprietary information must be marked and clearly identified by respondents. When responding, please complete the xTechSearch registration form included in the announcement that includes a brief description of the company, any previous or on-going work with the Department of Defense, alignment to modernization priority and a company point-of-contact with a phone number and e-mail address.

xTechSearch-Registration-Form1

Prizes
Phase I: Concept White Paper Contest $125,000.00 Up to 125 winners will receive $1,000 and an invitation to Phase II.
Phase II: xTechSearch Technology Pitches $125,000.00 Up to 25 winners will receive $5,000 and an invitation to Phase III.
Phase III. AUSA Innovators' Corner $1,500,000.00 Up to 12 winners will receive $125,000 and an invitation to Phase IV.
Phase IV. Capstone Demonstration $200,000.00 The xTechSearch winner will receive $200,000.

32 Discussions for "Army Expeditionary Technology Search (xTechSearch)"

  • Show Replies [+]
    Jordan
    Does anyone know if we receive any emails if our proposal doesn't win? The deadline for the Boston pitch (our preferred location) notification has passed but we haven't heard back one way or another.

    • Reply
      Hi, Jordan. We haven't heard on up/downs, either. If there is a tremendous proposal response, I would not expect debriefs for rejected proposal. Likely, just a short notification. Will certainly be interested to see the final phase winner(s) at AUSA in OCT.

  • Show Replies [+]
    Justin Toops
    The chatter has been quiet since the phase I deadline - Can anyone who submitted the white paper for phase ! confirm if feedback was received positively or negatively on Phase II and the Tech Pitch? Did you receive email notification? Please advise.

  • Michael B
    Upon submission via the email address provided there was no confirmation email sent back, correct?

  • Can you provide details of the format for the Tech Pitch? This is important to know given that we will only have a week between the invite, should my company's proposal be selected, and the pitch, that does not allow much prep time. Knowing the format in advance will be an enormous help and make all the pitches from every proposer more effective. How long will we have? Slides only? Will video be allowed? etc. Thanks.

  • J Medling
    Can the team/staff details and experience be included int he paper and NOT count towards the 1000 words, or as a separate document?

  • Is there a particular manner in which you want proprietary information marked in the whitepaper? Is there any required format or verbage? Thank you in advance.

  • Show Replies [+]
    J Medling
    We operate multiple sister companies, each with unique technologies applicable to this. The companies are legally separate entities but the staff and corporate address is the same. Can we submit a tech whitepaper and registration form for each company, with the same point of contact and address?

    • Reply
      mwillis
      As long as each sister company is a legally separate and independent business entity, and each small business fits the organizational requirements as specified in the solicitation, then each separate firm can submit a proposal.

    • Reply
      mwillis
      The 1000 word limit on the white paper only pertains to the content of the proposal, and does not include the title, authors, figures/graphs, or works cited.

  • Show Replies [+]
    Bob Sherridan
    If the technology that we want to submit is already a workable, fully-functional product are we eligible to submit it? I saw in another discussion question where Phase II & III SBIR awardees are eligible; however, I want to clarify the TRL. Is there a specific TRL limitation?

    • Reply
      mwillis
      There is no limitation on Technology Readiness Level (TRL); the competition is open to technologies from concept to fully deployed solutions being applied in a unique or innovative way.

  • mwillis
    Question: Is there an limit to submitting a technology/white paper applicable to more than one modernization area? Answer: Absolutely not! If your technology applies to more than one Army modernization area, please be sure to note in the white paper. Please select the primary application area in the registration form.

  • mwillis
    Question: The phase 1 proposal is limited to 1000 words, but I don’t see any restrictions about inserting images, videos, or links to external content. Answer: The whitepapers are limited to 1,000 words. If you would like to add pictures, diagrams and other aspects to the submission, that would be appreciated. These additional components would not count against the word limit.

  • Show Replies [+]
    Mark Carlson
    Under eligibility requirements there is a statement that only one submission is allowed per business. We possibly have a couple of solutions for different areas within this effort. Is the one submission per business a hard requirement?

    • Reply
      mwillis
      Businesses that submit more than one white paper will be disqualified from the xTechSearch program. If your technology applies to more than one Army modernization area, please be sure to note in the white paper (select the primary application area in the registration form).

    • Reply
      mwillis
      Yes, small businesses with existing Phase I, II, or III SBIR projects with the DoD or other government agencies are eligible to participate in the xTechSearch challenge.

  • mwillis
    We have received a few questions regarding if foreign industry with promising technology can participate in the xTechSearch? If so, how? Answer: Global innovators may participate in xTechSearch by establishing a US domestic business relationship (e.g., wholly owned US subsidiary) or partner with a US based company to participate in the program.

    • Reply
      mwillis
      Technology solutions for improving current platforms are eligible for the xTechSearch program. Phase I submissions should include both a white paper and the registration form and be sent to: usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil by 11:59 PM on 11 July 2018.

  • Show Replies [+]
    CN612622
    Question on Eligibility requirements: "To qualify, the participating entity must fall within the size standard by North American Industry Classification System code 541713, 541714, and 541715." If a WOSB HUBZone business has a new technology solution for Soldier lethality to Improve Situational awareness and communications but does not have the above NAICs specifically is the company still able to submit? All company NAICs currently held are relevant to this technology, products, depot, integrate and design in the technology area. Thank you

    • Reply
      mwillis
      The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes provided in the solicitation (541713, 541714, 541715) are not all inclusive, but provide a representative size standard for eligible businesses. In other words, eligible businesses must fall within the Small Business Administration's size standard for NAICS code 541713, 541714 and 541715: up to 1,000 employees (under 13 CFR Part 121 Section 121.201).

  • Show Replies [+]
    Steve Isakson
    One of the eligibility requirements is: "Shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States" While this is a common rule among challenges, in actuality I run a sole proprietorship and therefore I am not "incorporated" (most challenge do not actually require incorporation even if they do include this statement somewhere). Is it your intent to disallow non-incorporated entities, or do you really just mean keeping your place of business registered in the United States? Thanks

    • Reply
      mwillis
      Greetings, Sole proprietors may participate in xTechSearch as long as the individual is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Thank you.

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