WASHINGTON – Opening the innovation funnel to harness new and disruptive technologies is paramount to xTechSearch 8, the U.S. Army xTech Program’s flagship prize competition focused on enhancing Soldier readiness and modernizing the joint force.
Sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, and in collaboration with the Army Small Business Innovation Research Program, the competition aims to bolster the Army’s operational capabilities via an open-topic solicitation model. As a result, xTechSearch 8 will accept proposals for a variety of solutions, including Army modernization challenges such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, autonomy, climate and clean tech, contested logistics and sustainment, immersive and wearables, and sensors.
“The broad nature of the xTechSearch competition series enables the Army to attract and work with small businesses across the commercial science and technology sectors,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program. “These collaborations play a critical role in ensuring our warfighters maintain an advantage in any domain by nurturing long-lasting partnerships with innovators that offer leap-ahead capabilities.”
Through the xTechSearch 8 Competition, businesses that propose solutions will participate in two rounds of competition with cash prizes up to $37,000 per company. These rounds will last through May 2024, culminating in a third round where businesses can earn a potential follow-on Phase I Army SBIR contract award worth up to $250,000.
Part One: Concept White Paper Submissions
· Small businesses submit three-page concept white papers outlining their technology concept, viability, dual-use case and benefit to the Army. Following the submission, DoD experts will review the proposals and select up to 50 firms to receive $2,000 in cash prizes, an opportunity to move on to the competition finals and a chance to participate in the xTechSearch 8 Accelerator Program.
Part Two: Competition Finals
· Finalists selected during the concept white paper round will present their technology concepts and transition plans to a panel of experts for the opportunity to become one of 20 winners that can earn an additional $35,000 in cash prizes and an invitation to submit for an Army SBIR Phase I contract award worth up to $250,000.
Part Three: Request for Phase I SBIR Proposal
· Winners selected in the competition finals will receive an invitation in May to submit a proposal for a Phase I Army SBIR contract. Throughout the anticipated six-month performance period, these Phase I selectees will have access to subject matter experts who offer developmental and assessment-based feedback on technologies evaluated in practical settings.
Participate in xTechSearch 8
Eligible small businesses that wish to participate must submit their white papers by 5 p.m. EDT on Nov. 30, 2023. For all xTechSearch 8 information, please visit the xTechSearch 8 competition page.
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 feedback 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 and technology-specific competitions that target key Army challenges. For more xTech information, please visit the Army xTech website.
The Army 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 Army SBIR|STTR 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 the ASA(ALT) website.