U.S. Army awards prizes for clean-tech solutions aligned to its climate strategy

By Stephanie PriceAugust 4, 2022

Twenty-four small businesses with breakthrough clean technologies are the latest recipients of cash prizes awarded through the U.S. Army xTech Program. (U.S. Army)
Twenty-four small businesses with breakthrough clean technologies are the latest recipients of cash prizes awarded through the U.S. Army xTech Program. (U.S. Army) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON – Twenty-four small businesses with innovative clean technologies are the latest recipients of cash prizes awarded through the U.S. Army xTech Program.

The winning companies were among 50 small businesses and non-traditional vendors invited to present their innovative solutions during the xTechSBIR Clean Tech Competition finals held June 27-30. In addition to a $10,000 cash prize, each winner is eligible to submit for either a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract award of $250,000, or a Direct to Phase II SBIR contract award of $1.8 million.

With winning technologies ranging from wireless charging innovations for electric transportation to sustainable water generation in contested environments, these businesses are actively supporting the objectives of the Army Climate Strategy, the framework for a long-term endeavor to operationalize climate adaptation and mitigation across the force. Lines of effort include enhancing resilience and sustainability of installations and infrastructure, increasing acquisition and logistics operational capability while reducing sustainment demand, and training Soldiers to be ready to operate in a climate-altered world.

The winning companies are:

·      Aegis Power Systems, Murphy, N.C., “Modular Clean Energy Storage Auxiliary Power Unit for Austere and Contested Environments”

·      AmpX Technologies Inc., College Park, Md., “Next-Generation Import/Export Power Converter”

·      Anthro Energy, San Jose, Calif., “Robust Polymer Electrolytes for High-Energy Density, Structural Lithium-Ion Batteries”

·      Avilution, Huntsville, Ala., “Improved Reusable Avionics for Electric Aircraft”

·      Barrow Green LLC, Bethesda, Md., “Energy-Efficient Hydrofluorocarbon-Free Elastocaloric Cooling Technology”

·      Carbon Limit Co., Boca Raton, Fl., “Green Cement Nanotechnology to Reduce Concrete’s Carbon Footprint and Improve Performance”

·      Enexor BioEnergy, Franklin, Tenn., “Clean Onsite Energy from Organic, Biomass and Plastic Waste to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Deliver Renewable Energy, Improved Resiliency, and Cost-Savings to the U.S. Army”

·      Espiku, Bend, Ore., “Production of Lithium Salts for Li-ion Batteries Using Thermal and Cyclonic Brine Concentration”

·      e-volv, inc., Littleton, Colo., “Advanced Superconducting Cables for Aircraft”

·      FC Renew LLC, Oak Ridge, Tenn., “Extended Durability Fuel Cells”

·      FluxWorks, College Station, Texas, “Ultra-Reliable Magnetic Gear Integrated Motor-Generator for Extended Range and Reduced Maintenance of Electric Transportation Air and Ground Vehicles”

·      Genesis Systems, Tampa, Fl., “WaterCube™ — Hydrating the Force with Sustainable Water from Air”

·      Inergy, Pocatello, Idaho, “Ruggedized and Modular Power Generation System to Enable Contingency Basing Operations”

·      Paragon Robotics, Twinsburg, Ohio, “Containerized Photovoltaic Microgrid System for Forward Operation Environments”

·      Piersica, Sunrise, Fla., “A Safe, Ultra-High Energy Density Battery with Li Metal Anode and Solid Separator”

·      PowerFilm, Ames, Idaho, “Hybrid Solar Electric Container Refrigeration”

·      R-DEX Systems, Inc., Woodstock, Ga., “The Electric Vehicle Battery Total Life Cycle System for Improved EV Battery Management”

·      re:3D Inc, Houston, Texas, “3D Printing with Plastic Waste in Off-Grid Shipping Containers”

·      Resilient Energy and Infrastructure, Madison, Tenn., “Rapid Deployment Hybrid MicroGrid, a Plug and Play Transportable Solar Photovoltaic System-of-Systems”

·      Resilient Power Systems, Austin, Texas, “Solid State Power Stations for Clean Microgrids with Electric Vehicle Charging”

·      Resonant Link South, Burlington, Vt., “Ultra-Fast Wireless Charging to Power the Next-Generation, All-Electric Ground Fleet”

·      Smart Material Solutions Inc., Raleigh, N.C., “Nanopatterned Coatings for Thin-Film Solar Panels”

·      Solar Roadways, Sagle, Idaho, “Solar Roadways Can Turn All Paved Surfaces into Intelligent Infrastructure that Produces Clean Energy”

·      Stealth Power, Austin, Texas, “Stealth Power’s Clean Generator for Resilient Power”

“As the Army executes its focused efforts to address climate change, it is crucial that we tap into industry, specifically small and non-traditional businesses, to bring in a host of new and innovative solutions to combat this complex and evolving challenge,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and the Army Applied SBIR Program within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. “We are confident the winning technologies presented at the xTechSBIR Clean Tech Competition will prove invaluable in supporting the Army’s climate and clean-technology objectives.”

xTechSBIR Clean Tech opened in April with a call to submit concept white papers for novel, disruptive clean-technology solutions that have both civilian and military applications. The nearly 200 white papers submitted covered an array of clean technologies important to the Army, including clean energy generation, clean energy storage, clean micro grid, electric transportation and clean industry tech.

“Army strategy goals, such as developing the charging capability to meet the needs of fully electric tactical vehicles by 2050, are directly supported by the innovation demonstrated in these winning technologies,” Willis said. “Technologies that aid in these objectives are critical to mitigating and adapting to climate change while continuing to ensure warfighter readiness.”

Established in 2018, the xTechSearch competition strives to integrate small businesses and non-traditional vendors into the Army’s science and technology ecosystem by providing opportunities for direct exposure to laboratories, program executive offices and program managers from across the Army. Participants receive detailed feedback from Army and DOD stakeholders and have access to training, mentorship and other support infrastructure as they progress through the competition to determine how best to align their technology solutions with real users and buyers within the Army. Finalists are admitted to the xTech Accelerator – at no costs to the companies – to receive additional mentorship and networking opportunities to help grow their companies for government and commercial users.

The Army Applied SBIR Program leverages the xTech prize mechanism to allow small business innovators to demonstrate their technology solutions and, through hybrid xTech SBIR challenges, offers monetary prizes as well as opportunities for SBIR contract awards.

The xTech Program holds several competitions per year, from open-topic competitions such as xTechSearch, to technology-specific competitions targeting specific Army needs and challenges. For all competition information, go to https://www.xtechsearch.army.mil/.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and 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. For more information, go to https://www.army.mil/asaalt/.