WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army’s xTechSBIR Pacific Competition invites small businesses in Alaska, Hawaii and Washington to develop solutions that support the military’s long-distance strategy in the Pacific.
“When it comes to conflict, America is often fighting wars thousands of miles away,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and the Army Applied Small Business Innovation Research Program. “Even with unrivaled capabilities, this fact impacts the strength of our military and increases the cost of equipment upkeep and maintenance.”
While the Army is developing its Indo-Pacific capabilities across several fronts, the xTechSBIR Pacific competition’s key focus areas include supply chain logistics, climate and sustainment, communications, the internet of things and sensing and intelligence. Companies proposing solutions in these areas will compete throughout three rounds spanning six months that include:
- An initial, short-concept white paper submission phase, after which up to 50 companies will proceed to Phase II and receive cash prizes of $5,000.
- A virtual pitch round, where participants will present their technology concepts to a panel of Army and Department of Defense subject matter experts. The panel will select up to 20 finalists to receive cash prizes of $15,000 each and an invitation to participate in the finals.
- The last, in-person pitch event, where finalists will present their technology concepts and transition plans to the expert panel for the opportunity to become one of the 10 winners, which receive an additional prize of $25,000 each and an invitation to submit for an Army Small Business Innovation Research Phase I contract award or an optional Direct to Phase II.
After the virtual pitch round, companies are invited to participate in an xTech Accelerator. At no cost to the businesses, this six-week, cohort-based program supports companies through educational programming, diverse mentorship, venture-building consulting, community networking and engagement with Army experts to drive the transition of technologies.
Ultimately, xTechSBIR Pacific competition winners can receive up to $250,000 in award funding from the Phase I SBIR contract or up to $1.9 million from the optional Direct to Phase II. These awards further support companies by enabling them to collaborate with the Army while enhancing critical Indo-Pacific capabilities.
“The xTechSBIR Pacific competition offers small businesses the opportunity to partner with the Army in bolstering the effectiveness of our military overseas,” Dr. Willis said. “We’re excited to see how companies’ innovations aim to overcome the logistical challenges the U.S. often faces as the away team.”
To enter the competition, eligible small businesses can submit their 3-page white papers by 5 p.m. EDT on April 20. For all competition-related information, please visit the xTechSBIR Pacific website.
Established in 2018, the Army xTech Program strives to integrate small and nontraditional businesses into the Army’s science and technology ecosystem. It provides opportunities for direct exposure to laboratories, program executive offices and program managers across the Army.
Participants receive detailed feedback from Army and DoD stakeholders and have access to training, mentorship and other support infrastructure. This helps guide businesses through the competition and determine where their solutions best align within the Army.
The xTech Program holds several competitions per year. These include open-topic competitions such as xTechSearch as well as technology-specific competitions that target key Army challenges. For additional xTech information, please visit the xTech website.
The Army Applied SBIR Program releases contract opportunities on a rolling basis to respond to the Army’s current and expected warfighting technology needs. For eligibility information and a list of open solicitations, please visit the SBIR website.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology offers the American Soldier a decisive advantage in any mission by developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the world’s finest equipment and services. It also leverages its technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Soldier needs. To learn more, you can visit ASA (ALT)'s page on Army.mil.