The U.S. Army awarded funding to more than 90 small businesses for their innovative solutions in artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, network, hypersonics and advanced manufacturing.
The U.S. Army awarded funding to more than 90 small businesses for their innovative solutions in artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, network, hypersonics and advanced manufacturing. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army has awarded new funding contracts to more than 90 small businesses to develop innovations in advanced manufacturing, hypersonics, advanced materials and other critical Army priorities.

The Army Applied Small Business Innovation Research Program released 27 Phase I contracts, through which each company will receive up to $256K for a six-month period to focus on the scientific, technical, commercial merit and feasibility of their innovations. The Applied SBIR Program releases contract opportunities such as these on an ad hoc, rolling basis for U.S.-based small businesses to identify solutions to some of the Army’s most critical modernization priorities.

These new Phase I awards will enable technology in artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, network technology, hypersonics and advanced manufacturing. More than 620 companies submitted proposals on the 27 topics, representing a 130% increase in the number of submissions for these latest contract opportunities.

The companies’ proposals consisted of five-page white papers outlining their technologies, which were reviewed by more than 200 expert evaluators.

“Innovative small businesses are the perfect avenue for our Metamaterial Based Antenna Program,” said Jeff Belanger, product manager for the Aerial Communications and Mission Command Team, which oversees one of the 27 opportunities available to small businesses. “They have the flexibility and out-of-the-box thinkers to solve the complex problems faced by the Army and the Department of Defense. This effort will leverage the power of small businesses to develop innovative antenna technology, not only for the Army’s aviation fleet, but for the thousands of other applications in the DoD and commercial sector that can benefit from a radio frequency reconfigurable, small-form-factor antenna.”

“We identify and leverage the best mechanisms the government has available to make it easy for businesses to work with us,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and Army the Applied SBIR Program, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. “We want to be expeditious in our approach by scouting the tech landscape to determine which technologies respond to not only the Army’s needs, but small business needs as well.”

The congressionally-mandated Army Applied SBIR Program fosters, encourages and strengthens the role of small businesses to meet Army research and development needs in the face of great-power competition. The program helps businesses overcome the inherent challenges to working in government research and development, compared to their larger counterparts, and connects companies with Soldiers and Army technical and subject matter experts to talk shop – whether it’s about the latest technologies or the challenges on the battlefield.

To view the latest open topic opportunities and learn more about the Army Applied SBIR Program, visit the Army SBIR|STTR Program website.

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The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for 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.