Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

xTechSearch 5

xTechSearch will highlight opportunities for small businesses to collaborate with the Army to tackle the most critical Army modernization challenges.

Department of Defense - U.S. Army

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $2,040,000
Type of Challenge: Ideas; Technology demonstration and hardware
Submission Start: 03/09/2020 05:00 PM ET
Submission End: 04/01/2020 02:59 AM ET

Description

The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)) is announcing the fifth iteration of the Army Expeditionary Technology Search – xTechSearch –  prize competition. xTechSearch will highlight opportunities for small businesses to collaborate with the Army to tackle the most critical Army modernization challenges.

The ASA(ALT) recognizes that the Army must enhance engagements with the small businesses, by: (1) understanding the spectrum of technologies being developed commercially that may benefit the Army; (2) integrating the sector of small business innovators into the Army’s Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem; and (3) providing mentorship and expertise to accelerate, mature, and transition technologies of interest to the Army.

The Army xTechSearch program will provide increasing non-dilutive seed prizes to select small businesses to proceed in the competition.  Ultimately ten (10) small business finalists will receive awards of $120,000 each and be invited to  demonstrate a proof-of-concept of their dual-use technologies pertaining to Army challenges. Final demonstrations will take place at the 2021 Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Global Force Symposium and Exhibition in March 2021 in Huntsville, AL.  A grand prize winner will be selected and awarded an additional $250,000 prize.  Details on the prize structure are listed below in this announcement. 

The xTechSearch program will also strives to integrate these small businesses into the Army’s S&T ecosystem by providing research opportunities with Army labs, including authorized access to the Army’s organic intellectual and technical capital.  Every small business idea submitted will receive detailed operational and technical feedback from Army stakeholders.  Participating companies will have access to training, mentorship and other support infrastructure as they progress through the contest to determine how best to align their technology solutions with real users and buyers within the Army.  Finalists will be entered into the xTech Accelerator to receive intensive mentorship and access to networking events to help grow their companies for Army and commercial users.  xTechSearch is an opportunity for businesses to pitch novel technology solutions – a new application for an existing technology or an entirely new technology concept – to the Army.

The authority of this program is 15 United States Code (USC) §3719.

Prizes

Prizes will be offered under 15 USC §3719 (Prize competitions). The total prize pool is $2.04 million.

Phase

Number of Winners

Prize

Application Part 1: White Paper

Up to 60

$5,000

Application Part 2: Technology Pitches

Up to 20

$10,000

Semifinals

Up to 10

$120,000

Finals

Up to 10

1st Place: $250,000

All others finalists: $10,000

 

Total

$2,040,000

Non-monetary Prizes

Other non-monetary incentives are provided through the xTechSearch program to help small business engage, and stay engaged with the Army.

Rules

The entities allowed to participate in this competition must be sole proprietors or small business concerns in accordance with Small Business Administration guidance under 13 Code of Federal Regulations § 121.201, or any entity willing and able to be registered as a small business in the United States (U.S.) if selected to participate in this competition.

Each eligible entity:

  • Shall be incorporated in, and maintain, a primary place of business in the U.S.;
  • May not be a Federal entity or employ a Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment

Sole proprietors may participate in xTechSearch if the individual is a citizen or national of the U.S. or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and the business is registered in the U.S.  Foreign companies may participate in xTechSearch by establishing a U.S. domestic business relationship (e.g., wholly owned U.S. subsidiary) or partner with an U.S. based company. Companies that have previously participated in the xTechSearch competition are eligible to participate for new technology concepts or improvements to prior submitted proposals.

Terms and Conditions

Registered participants shall be required 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 this 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 this 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. 

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 this 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 or 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.

Judging Criteria

Judging Panel

Each concept white paper will be reviewed by an Army panel from the Army S&T ecosystem including Warfighter, acquisition, and research and development subject matter experts.

Judging Criteria

xTechSearch Application Process

Part 1:  Concept White Paper

All eligible entities shall submit a concept white paper outlining their technology, the potential impact on the Army, the scientific viability of their approach, and the dual-use technology applications for both the commercial and defense space.  Each concept white paper will be reviewed by an Army panel from the Army S&T ecosystem including Warfighter, acquisition, and research and development subject matter experts. Up to 60 applicants with the highest ranking white papers will receive a prize of $5,000 and advance to Part 2: Technology Pitches.

Concept White Papers will be evaluated and ranked using the following Scoring Criteria (further details on each scoring dimension can be found on the xTechSearch registration page):

  • Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 35%
  • Scientific and Engineering Viability – 35%
  • Dual Use – 20%
  • Proposal Quality – 10%

How To Enter

The xTechSearch program is voluntary and open to all entities that meet the eligibility requirements.  There may be only one submission per eligible entity.  The registration information and upload submission must be received by 11:59 PM PST on 31 March 2020.  Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

Register now: https://www.xtechsearch.army.mil/

All xTechSearch submissions are treated as privileged information and contents are disclosed to Government employees or designated support contractors only for the purpose of evaluation and program support.

Detailed feedback will be provided to all participants at the end of each phase.  The purpose of providing this feedback is to help accelerate transition of the technology to an Army user by providing insight on best applications for the technology within the Army, suggestions for product improvement for Army use, and recommended next steps for development.  However, the Government will not respond to questions or inquiries regarding this feedback.

While the authority of this program is 15 USC §3719, a concept white paper submitted to the xTechSearch program may generate interest by another Army organization for a funding opportunity outside of this program (e.g., submission of a proposal under a Broad Agency Announcement).  The interested Army organization may contact the participant to provide additional information.

Submission Format

The xTechSearch initial submission is a concept white paper.  Please adhere to the following requirements:

  • All concept white papers must be submitted using the template found on the registration page, “xTechSearch_5_WhitePaper_Template.doc”. Any proposals submitted in a format other than that provided by the template will not be reviewed. 
  • Please list your company name, and proposal title EXACTLY how you would like them to appear on any contest marketing materials, recommend clear and concise proposal titles to give readers and potential stakeholders understanding of how your technology would benefit the Army.

Army Focus Areas

xTechSearch seeks novel, disruptive concepts and technologies to support the top Army Modernization Priorities, Army Medical Technologies, Military Engineering Technologies, as well as other critical technology focus areas within the Army Research and Technology portfolio that can provide technology overmatch or enable cost savings throughout the Army systems’ life cycle.  See attached document on the registration page for a list of the top Army Modernization Priorities and other critical Army Focus Areas.    

xTechSearch Application Process

Part 1:  Concept White Paper

All eligible entities shall submit a concept white paper outlining their technology, the potential impact on the Army, the scientific viability of their approach, and the dual-use technology applications for both the commercial and defense space.  Each concept white paper will be reviewed by an Army panel from the Army S&T ecosystem including Warfighter, acquisition, and research and development subject matter experts. Up to 60 applicants with the highest ranking white papers will receive a prize of $5,000 and advance to Part 2: Technology Pitches.

Concept White Papers will be evaluated and ranked using the following Scoring Criteria (further details on each scoring dimension can be found on the xTechSearch registration page):

  • Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 35%
  • Scientific and Engineering Viability – 35%
  • Dual Use – 20%
  • Proposal Quality – 10%

Part 2:  Technology Pitches

Selected participants will conduct an in-person pitch to a panel of Army subject matter experts at locations across the United States. Participants will pitch their technology concept and team ability to a representative Army panel from the Army S&T ecosystem.  Each participant will have 15 minutes to pitch, followed by 10 minutes for questions and answers with the Army panel. Up to 20 participants with the highest ranking pitch will receive a prize of $10,000 and a written invitation to attend The xTechSearch 5 Semifinals.

Technology Pitches will be evaluated and ranked using the following Scoring Criteria (further details on each scoring dimension can be found on the xTechSearch registration page):

  • Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army - 30%
  • Scientific and Engineering Viability - 30%
  • Dual Use - 20%
  • Team Ability - 10%
  • Presentation Quality - 10%

xTechSearch 5 Semifinals

Up to 20 semifinalists will be invited to make a live public presentation on the Innovators’ Corner stage at the AUSA 2020 Annual Meeting 12-14 October, 2020 that will be evaluated by a panel of U.S. Army and business experts.  In addition, semifinalists will be provided Army-sponsored exhibit space in the AUSA Innovators’ Corner booth to engage with Department of Defense (DoD) customers, Army leadership, industry partners, and academia in attendance.

Detailed instructions and evaluation criteria will be provided to semifinalist companies. Up to ten (10) participants with the highest ranking pitches will receive a prize of $120,000 and will advance to the xTechSearch Finals.

xTechSearch 5 Finals

Up to ten (10) finalists will be invited to conduct Proof-of-Concept Demonstrations and present their transition plans to a panel of Army subject matter experts at the 2021 AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exhibition in March 2021 in Huntsville, AL.  In addition, finalists will be provided Army-sponsored exhibit space at the AUSA Innovators’ Corner to engage with Department of Defense (DoD) customers, Army leadership, industry partners, and academia in attendance.

Detailed instructions and evaluation criteria will be provided to finalist companies.  A single grand-prize winner will be selected by the panel of Army subject matter experts and awarded a prize of $250,000.  All other finalists will each receive a $10,000 prize.