Army launches prize challenge aimed at small business sector and start-ups

ADELPHI, Md. U.S. Army officials are launching a prize challenge aimed at the small business sector. The Expeditionary Technology Search (xTechSearch) is an effort to engage with the non-defense traditional business sector and start-ups, driving American innovation for Army challenges and modernization efforts as well as spurring economic growth.

The prizes range between $1,000 to $200,000 and prizes increase during each successive round with a potential for up to 25 finalists being invited to participate in a major national event in Washington, D.C. where they can directly engage with Department of Army officials, industry partners, and academia. Deadline for proposal submission is July 11, 2018.

xTechSearch aims at attracting game-changing innovation and will make additional access for small business entrepreneurs to pitch novel technology solutions directly to Army leadership.

Dr. Bruce Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), launched the nation-wide competition to revolutionize the way the Army attracts and encourages innovation. He mentions that  "Our Army of the future must be ready to deploy, fight and win decisively against any adversary, anytime and anywhere, in a joint, multi-domain, high-intensity conflict, while simultaneously deterring others and maintaining its ability to conduct irregular warfare."

xTechSearch will be featured at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on 8 to 10 October 2018. The challenge  will highlight opportunities for nontraditional defense partners to collaborate with the Army to tackle the most poignant Army modernization challenges.

Army officials are looking to innovation from the recently identified six modernization priority lines of efforts for the Army:

  • Long-Range Precision Fires
  • Next Generation Combat Vehicle
  • Future Vertical Lift
  • The Army Network
  • Air and Missile Defense and Increasing Soldier Lethality

xTechSearch will host its competitive outreach events across the country to engage and the Army will provide cash prizes for the companies to demonstrate proof of concept for their technology in an Army-relevant challenge area.

Here's how to participate:

Interested small business participants submit a white paper and xTechSearch registration before July 11, 2018 via email to usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil. The white paper should be no more than 1,000 words describing the novel technology concept, innovative application concept and integration with the Army's modernization priorities.

xTechSearch outline:

  • Phase I

    • June 15, 2018. Publish Request for Information with target technology areas and outreach events.
    • July 11, 2018. Deadline for proposal submissions.
  • Phase II
    • July 23, 2018. Adelphi Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
    • Week of July 30. Adelphi xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Open Campus, Adelphi, Maryland.
    • July 30, 2018. Austin Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
    • Week of August 6-10. Austin xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL South Campus, Austin, Texas.
    • August 6, 2018. Chicago Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
    • Week of August 13-17. Chicago xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Central Campus, Chicago, Illinois.
    • August 13, 2018. Boston Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
    • Week of August 20-24. Boston xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL Northeast Campus, Boston, Massachusetts.
    • August 20, 2018. Playa Vista Regional Semifinalists notified and invited to Tech Pitches.
    • Week of August 27-31. Playa Vista xTechSearch panel. Venue: ARL West Campus, Playa Vista, California.
  • Phase III
    • September 17, 2018. Phase III finalists notified and invited to AUSA annual meeting.
    • October 8-10, 2018. Phase III AUSA Innovators' Corner, Washington, D.C.
  • Phase IV
    • April 2019. Capstone demonstration with senior Army leadership.

More information on xTechSearch is available at https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/army-expeditionary-technology-search-xtechsearch/. Visit the "Discussions" section for commonly asked questions and answers, or send email inquiries directly to: usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil