Army announces 50 semi-finalists in 7th iteration of open-topic prize competition

By Melissa Hirsch, Office of Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR ProgramFebruary 21, 2023

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WASHINGTON — Following a record number of submissions, the U.S. Army announced the semi-finalists of the xTechSearch 7 competition, the seventh iteration of the program’s flagship competition series that awards cash prizes to small and non-traditional businesses for their innovative solutions

Out of 775 submissions, the Army selected 50 small businesses as semi-finalists and awarded each a $5,000 cash prize for their short-concept white papers. These semi-finalists will move forward to pitch their technologies to a panel of Army and Department of Defense subject matter experts. The panel of judges will then select up to 20 finalists, who will each be awarded $15,000 and participate in a final pitch event for the opportunity to win $25,000 and to submit for a potential Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract worth up to $250,000.

“Out of a record number of exceptional submissions, the 50 semi-finalists selected to pitch their technologies each exhibit the greatest potential in filling critical needs within the Army,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and the Army Applied SBIR Program. “These semi-finalists exemplify the value of our xTechSearch model, which encourages submissions that address a broad range of Army technology needs. Providing companies with a space to demonstrate their individual innovative prowess is one of the best methods we can utilize to ensure the Army fills capability gaps and delivers technology to the Soldier efficiently and effectively.”

All submissions fall into primary Army focus areas that tackle current Army needs and identify cutting-edge technologies, including Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML); Advanced Materials; Advanced Manufacturing; Autonomy; Climate and Clean Technologies; Cyber; Electronics; Human Performance; Immersive; Network Technologies; Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT); Power; Software Modernization; and Sensors.

The semi-finalists are:

·        Alpha Munitions, Salt Lake City, Utah, “Optimized Brass Rifle Cases Increasing Overmatch Capabilities”

·        Anello Photonics, Santa Clara, Calif., “Warfighter Handheld Optical Gyro GNSS INS for Contested Environments”

·        Arbor Batteries LLC, Ann Arbor, Mich., “Li-ion Batteries with Improved Charge Rate, Energy Density, and Safety, using 3D Structured Electrodes”

·        Ascent Integrated Tech, Chicago, Ill., “Optimizing Army Fire Response through Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLaM) in GPS-Denied, Particulate-Filled Environments”

·        Asylon, Inc., Norristown, Pa., “5G LTE Enabled Cloud Based Unmanned Operating System”

·        Axiom Technologies, Reston, Va., “Edge to Endpoint Security with Axiom’s NullTrust-Edge/Endpoint (NTT-E2P)”

·        Blinkly, Inc., Washington, D.C., “Quantum-Safe Cybersecurity using Machine Learning”

·        Carbon SiC Technologies, Inc., Henderson, Nev. “Affordable and Production Scalable Thermal Protection Systems For Hypersonic Vehicles”

·        CenterState Solutions, Topeka, Kan., “CenterForms: A Web-Based Solution for Administrative Process Simplification”

·        Chapel Hill North Analytics, Columbus, Ohio, “Technology Scouting and SME Identification using an AI-enabled Emerging Technology Tool”

·        Control Vision Inc., Tucson, Ariz., “In-situ, real-time visual image sensing module and AI/ML software tool for defect detection in high-luminosity additive manufacturing processes”

·        Cybernet Systems Corporation, Ann Arbor, Mich., “Autonomous Forklift Operations in Rough Terrain”

·        Dragoon Technology LLC, Tucson, Ariz., “High Endurance Multi-Mission Swarming Unmanned Aircraft”

·        Dynepic, Inc., Reno, Nev., “MOTAR (Member. Operations. Training. Analytics. Reports.)”

·        EngeniusMicro, Huntsville, Ala., “Target Image Detection and Adaptive Ranging – Velocity (TIDAR-V)”

·        Enkrypt AI, Inc., Natick, Mass., “End-To-End Encryption for Analysis of Sensitive Data”

·        Evolved Wireless Inc., Encinitas, Calif., “Locating Passive Radios and Locators”

·        Farad Power Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif., “Performance and Safety Improvement of the Li-ion 6T Battery”

·        Flyt Aerospace, San Jose, Calif., “Novel sensor for accurate UAV navigation in GPS-denied environments”

·        Foresight Technologies dba TeraDAR, Cambridge, Mass., “High-Resolution Terahertz Sensing for Army Autonomous Operations”

·        Fox and Geese LLC, Portland, Ore., “Dark Web Monitoring of Advanced Persistent Threats”

·        GBL Systems Corporation, Camarilo, Calif., “SaigeTEC’s Cognitive/AI Domain of Warfare® Technology Ecosystem”

·        Helicoid Industries Inc., Indio, Calif., “BioHel-HTC: Bio-inspired Helicoid for Low Cost, High Toughness High-Temperature Resistant Composites”

·        Hoth Intelligence, Philadelphia, Pa., “Augmented Reality for Immediate and Markerless Neuronavigation”

·        Impressio Tech, Denver, Colo., “Ultra-energy absorbing liquid crystalline elastomer advanced material and 3D printing for Warfighter protection.”

·        Information Systems Labs, Poway Calif., “Autonomous UAS Operations using Advanced Computing”

·        J3D Labs, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., “Automating Predictive Maintenance to Improve Vehicle Fleet Mission Readiness”


·        Manifold Robotics Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y., “Power Line Electromagnetic Field Navigation and Monitoring Onboard UASs”

·        Maynard Steel Casting Company, Milwaukee, Wisc., “Lightweight steel for defense and civilian applications using hybrid sand casting process”

·        Moleaer Inc., Hawthorne, Calif., “Oxygenated Nanobubbles for Various Military Applications Including Waste-Water Treatment”

·        NanTenna, Melbourne, Fla., “Ultra Low Profile Soldier Worn L-Band SATCOM Antenna”

·        necoTECH, Delaware, Ohio, “All-in-one Infrastructure Maintenance Vehicle”

·        Notch Inc., Cambridge, Mass., “Passive and Controllable RF signature using lightweight metasurfaces for Army platforms and equipment”

·        Photon Semantics LLC, Huntington Woods, Mich., “Autonomous Platforms and Sensors: Materials and Surface Texture Polarization Enhanced LIDAR”

·        Pikus3D, West Jordan, Utah, “3D Concrete Printing for Stateside and Overseas Operations”

·        Protonex LLC dba PNI Sensor, Santa Rosa, Calif., “FORT Plus – Zippo-sized APNT tracker for the Dismounted Soldier for when nothing else is available”

·        Sempulse Corporation, San Marcos, Texas, “Next Generation tracking of Human Performance”

·        Shared Spectrum Company, Vienna, Va., “Directional Digital Data Link (D3L)”

·        Soar Technology, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI, “Centralized Control of Commercial Drones (C3D)”

·        Strata Sustainability LLC, Brooklyn, N.Y., “Clean Environmental Waste Management for Permanent and Semi-Permanent DoD Bases”

·        SWR Technology Inc., Fremont, Calif., “Fast Opportunity Charging System for AMR/AGV”

·        Talus Ridge, Raleigh, N.C., “Talus Airflow & Ballistic Support Platform”

·        Talyn Air Inc, Culver City, Calif., “Two-Staged eVTOL for Army Short Range Resupply & Cargo Delivery”

·        Teamworx Security, Inc., Columbia, Md., “Mission Readiness Environment (MRE): Preparing and Training the Future Cyber Workforce Toda”

·        Tyfast Energy Corp., Columbia, Md., “Ultimate 6T Battery for Future Army Vehicles”

·        Valgotech LLC, San Diego, Calif., “Lightweight and clean Li-S batteries for soldiers and UAVs”

·        Windlift, Inc., Fishers, Ind., “Ultralight Wind Energy System for Decentralized Squad Operations”

·        WingXpand, St. Louis, Mo., “8ft Backpackable Autonomous UAS”

·        Xona Space Systems Inc., San Mateo, Calif., “Pulsar: A Resilient and AltNav PNT Service”

The xTechSearch competition series is the first Army prize competition to award cash prizes to small and non-traditional businesses for their innovative solutions to bridge Army capability gaps. The competition series breaks down common barriers to conducting business with the Army and helps bring U.S. small businesses into the Army science and technology ecosystem.

Semi-finalists will pitch their technologies Feb. 21 through March 2. Each company selected as a finalist will have the opportunity to participate in the xTech Accelerator, which empowers businesses to become successful in dual-use ventures, work toward successfully transitioning their technologies into the Army, and ultimately thrive as small businesses.

“While the xTechSearch competitions have already proven to be highly effective in growing Army capabilities, with this iteration, the Army has gained access to an expansive number of untapped technologies through the unprecedented 775 submissions from U.S. small businesses,” said Willis. “By providing small businesses with an avenue to show off and develop their technologies while creatively addressing the needs of our Warfighter, this competition has helped move the needle in achieving Army modernization goals.”

For all competition information, go to

Established in 2018, the Army xTech Program 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.

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

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