The U.S. Army held a series of pitches to find the best ideas from small businesses to apply them to Army challenges, August 2019.
The third Expeditionary Technology Search competition, more commonly referred to as xTechSearch 3.0, is a catalyst to engage with the non-traditional small-business sector, drive innovation and spur economic growth. The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), or ASA(ALT), launched the nationwide competitions to revolutionize the way the Army attracts and encourages innovation.
xTechSearch mirrors entrepreneurial pitch competitions with a panel of Army experts from the science and technology, acquisition, requirements and warfighting communities evaluating proposals from small businesses in a face-to-face setting. The live interactions spur dialogue and provide immediate feedback to the small businesses on how their technology can support the warfighter. The competition is an Army initiative designed to uncover novel science and technology solutions by engaging with small businesses and non-traditional partners.
This month, panels of Army judges heard pitches in Chicago, Illinois; Burlington, Massachusetts; and Frederick, Maryland. These events followed their predecessors launched in 2018. To date, more than 650 white paper submissions have been reviewed and more than 200 companies from across the United States have pitched their ideas live to the xTechSearch Army judging panels. Small businesses receive increasing cash prizes at each of the four phases of the competition from $5,000 for the top 50 white paper submissions in the first phase, to a grand prize of $250,000 for the winner of the fourth and final capstone demonstration phase.
This competition has awarded $4.4 million dollars in prize money to the top selected small businesses to spur further research and development and transition these technologies to the Army.
Col. Andrew Batten, acting chief of staff and S&T lead of the Army Futures Command Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team and one of the judges in Chicago said many of the competitors' efforts presented during this event fit directly in the FVL bin.
"I am thrilled to see the innovative approaches taken by these companies; this is just the sort of advance technology necessary for us to leap ahead in vertical aviation capability," Batten said. "As individual technologies mature, the intent is to rapidly get these capabilities onto Army aircraft supporting the warfighter. I saw several promising technologies that I envision being integrated into FVL systems, if not initial fielded aircraft, then subsequent block upgrades."
Several companies from the earlier xTechSearch 1.0 and 2.0 competitions submitted white papers for new technologies and were accepted for xTechSearch 3.0.
"The wide range of innovative technologies presented in the competition is impressive," said Dr. Robert Doneker, president of TangiTek, who participated in xTechSearch 1.0 and now 3.0. "We have found the program to be an excellent forum for small business to present new technology that addresses Army modernization priorities."
Fifty businesses pitched their capabilities in xTechSearch 3.0. The 25 semi-finalists from xTechSearch 3.0 will proceed to the next phase of the competition by presenting their capabilities in the Innovators' Corner booth at the 2019 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition, or AUSA, to be held in Washington, D.C. Oct. 14-16. Also during AUSA, the 12 finalist companies from xTechSearch 2.0 will present their final proof of concept presentations, with one selected for the competition's grand prize of $250,000.
The winning semi-finalist companies from xTechSearch 3.0 and the titles of their pitches are (in no particular order):
Brayton Energy, LLC, Hampton, New Hampshire: Advanced Gas-Turbine for UAVs
LiquidPiston, Bloomfield, Connecticut: LiquidPiston high Efficiency Auxiliary Power unit (LEAP)
Response Technologies, LLC, West Warwick, Rhode Island: Dynamic Self-Sealing Material Solution for FVL, FARA and NGCV Fuel Cells
Summit Technology Laboratory, Irvine, California: The Decision Pod
ISAGE, Inc., Torrance, California: DEEPSLICE: DNN Inferencer on Ultra-Low Form-Factor Edge Devices for Enhanced Situational Awareness in Low Information Compromised Battlefield Environments
SIGINT Systems, LLC, Davidsonville, Maryland: A Compact Vector Sensor for HF Collection and DF
Syncopated Engineering, Inc., Ellicott City, Maryland: Mockingbird RF Decoy
TRX Systems, Greenbelt, Maryland: Dismount GPS-Denied and NAVWAR Threat Detection/Resiliency
Flash Steelworks, Inc., Washington Township, Michigan: FLASH� STEEL: High Toughness, Improved Weldability to Prevent Vehicle Hull Embrittlement and Failure
Knight Technical Solutions, Huntsville, Alabama: Fixed Displacement Turbine, the Next Revolution in Engine Design
Merciless Motors, Jamaica, New York: Merciless Motors
Scientific Systems Company, Inc., Woburn, Massachusetts: sUAS & Dynamic Landing
Anti-Rotational Technologies, Inc., Douglasville, Georgia: Stabilizing Aerial Loads Utility System
Battery Streak, Thousand Oaks, California: Battery Streak-Charge Lightning Fast!
Corvid Technologies, Mooresville, North Carolina: Selectable Precision Effects ARticulating (SPEAR) Application for Carl-Gustaf Munition
GhostWave, Inc., Columbus, Ohio: Counter UAS Clandestine Perimeter Monitoring with RF Noise Radar
Hyssos Tech, LLC, Olympia, Washington: Sketch-Thru-Plan (STP): An advanced fusion-based multimodal plan-input tool
SOAL Technologies, Palos Hills, Illinois: Micro Power Generator (MPG)
Squishy Robotics, Berkeley, California: Rapidly Deployable, Disposable Observation Posts
TexPower, Inc., Austin, Texas: Next Generation Lithium Ion Batteries for Portable Military Applications
The Orion Group, LLC, Wilmington, Delaware: Tactical Observation Surveillance System (TOSS)
Cayuga Biotech, Inc., Basking Ridge, New Jersey: Nanostasis™ IV Therapeutic for Battlefield Hemorrhage
ElectroNucleics, Inc., Los Angeles, California: Point-of-Care Pathogen Detection in Minutes
Tribo Labs, Los Angeles, California: Ultra Portable X-ray Imaging Solution
XOnano Smartfoam, Orem, Utah: From the Ground up: Revolutionizing Real-Time Monitoring One Step at a Time
For information about the program, please visit https://www.arl.army.mil/xtechsearch/.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics & Technology) provides the American Soldier with a decisive advantage in any mission by developing, acquiring, fielding, and sustaining the world's finest equipment and services; and by leveraging technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Army needs.
The CCDC Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.