Army awards $6.5 million to small businesses to develop technologies in network, electronic warfare and AI/ML

By Stephanie PriceJuly 28, 2022

The U.S. Army awarded contracts to five small businesses for their innovative solutions in network technologies, electronic warfare and AI/ML. (U.S. Army)
The U.S. Army awarded contracts to five small businesses for their innovative solutions in network technologies, electronic warfare and AI/ML. (U.S. Army) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army has awarded nearly $6.5 million in new contracts to five small businesses to continue to develop their innovation solutions in network technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and electronic warfare from concept to prototype.

Each company will receive up to $1.7 million in funding over an 18-month period through the Army Applied Small Business Innovation Research Program, which releases contract opportunities on an ad hoc, rolling basis for U.S.-based small businesses and non-traditional defense vendors to take on some of the Army’s most critical technology challenges.

“Our program aims to identify the most advanced, unrivaled technologies in the private sector and provide mechanisms to integrate these technologies into Army systems,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army prize competitions and the Army Applied SBIR Program in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. “We’re looking forward to seeing how these companies continue to develop their technologies into solutions for our Soldiers.”

The following small businesses received Phase II awards:

·      Aptima Inc. (Woburn, Mass.) for “Federated Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Collection Management Using Machine Learning”

·      Aspen Consulting Group Inc. (Point Pleasant, N.J.) for “Radio Direction Finding Obfuscation”

·      Intelligent Fusion Technology Inc. (Germantown, Md.) for “Distributed Coded Computing for Content Management at the Tactical Edge”

·      Perceptronics Solutions Inc. (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) for “C4ISR/EW Modular Open Suite of Standards-based Common Data Link Radio Transceiver”

·      MZA Associates Corporation (Albuquerque, N.Mex.) for “Environmentally Adaptive Free-Space Optical Communication”

Through the Army Applied SBIR Program, selected small businesses work closely with technical points of contact, who serve as a resource for companies as they mature their technologies for insertion into Army programs of record.

“It is excellent to see that both the ‘Distributed Coded Computing for Content Management at the Tactical Edge’ and ‘Radio Direction Finding Obfuscation’ have moved to Phase II,” said William Leonard, acquisition support lead for PEO Command, Control and Communications-Tactical and technical point of contact for one of the topics. “Both fill critical capability gaps that are needed as the Army modernizes the network and moves to multi-domain operations. The small businesses that were selected are technically sound and capable of providing the products that the Army is asking for in the SBIR.”

In addition to benefiting the Army, the program also offers a valuable opportunity for small businesses to interact with Soldiers and technical and operational subject matter experts, who provide insight into technology needs and guide small businesses through the Army research and development ecosystem. Additionally, the program’s flexibility and timeliness in responding to the Army’s emerging technology needs maximize the initial cash flow for small businesses while minimizing the time to contract.

The Army Applied SBIR program recently announced five new contract opportunities in clean technology, AI/ML and SMART sensors. The pre-release period for these topics is June 15-27, 2022. During this time, companies can submit questions to the Defense SBIR/STTR Innovation Portal and via email. Qualified small businesses can submit proposals from June 28 to Aug. 2 at noon EDT. Full proposal packages must be submitted through the DSIP Portal. Additional information, including eligibility information and how to apply, can be found on the Army SBIR|STTR website.