WASHINGTON, DC (May 24, 2021) – Designed to speed up the transition of emerging technology to Soldiers, the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) will hold its third “pitch day” event in June.
The xTech RCCTO Army Strategic Rapid Acquisition (AStRA) Competition is open to companies and academic institutions who want to share their best ideas for emerging military technology, with the ultimate goal of putting the most promising capabilities on contract for rapid delivery. Those invited to pitch could receive an Army contract to prototype their technology, with the possibility of follow-on efforts.
“We know good ideas can come from anywhere,” said Rob Monto, the RCCTO’s Deputy Director for Advanced Concepts & Experimentation. “Through the AStRA competition we are reaching out to a broader community to rapidly identify emerging military technologies and accelerate them into prototypes for Soldiers.”
For this iteration of the AStRA Competition, the RCCTO is partnering with Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S) and PEO Soldier, who identified technology focus areas; and with the xTech Program, led by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)), and Georgia Technical Research Institute (GTRI), who are both helping execute the event.
PEO IEW&S identified tech areas that include multifunction antennas, tactical edge devices, and Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) capabilities, while PEO Soldier identified tech areas that include novel batteries, tactical edge processing, and cross-domain solutions.
The inaugural AStRA competition is a successor to previously held Army RCCTO Innovation Days and is modeled after commercial investor "pitch" days. The RCCTO held two similar events, the first in September 2019, and the second in February 2020 which was a partnership with the Army Futures Command and the Army Applications Laboratory. The RCCTO hosted a total of 80 concept pitches over the two events, with nine on contract and four of the concepts moving forward to refinement and potential contract awards.
In order to qualify for a contract from the AStRA competition, the proposed solutions must deliver a prototype or demonstration at a Department of Defense Technology Readiness Level seven (7) or higher after an expected contract Period of Performance of approximately 18 to 24 months. Based on the funding the RCCTO has available, it expects to award a series of one to eight contracts or Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreements to competition winners.
Companies have until May 25 to respond to a call for White Paper submissions through either the Army xTech or beta.Sam.gov websites (URLs below). Those selected to move on to Phase 2 will present their pitches at GTRI headquarters in Atlanta to a panel of expert judges during the week of June 28. If a company successfully completes Phase 2, the Government will pay them $5,000 in prize money and the top selections will be asked to enter Phase 3. During Phase 3, those selected will submit final proposed projects for the potential award of a Contract/OTA. Upon favorable final evaluations, Phase 4 will result in a basis for award, where the Government could award an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) agreement.
For more detailed information, including the problem statements, please refer to the Request for Information (RFI) at one of the following locations: www.xtechsearch.army.mil or https://beta.sam.gov/opp/c7cd1e4480124f8292b4ccfc77b222de/view.
The Army RCCTO, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is chartered to develop rapid prototypes and field residual combat capabilities.