Innovation Combine

Army Futures Command (AFC); Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC); CCDC Soldier Center (SC)

Innovation Combine - Graphic Innovation Combine - Graphic Alt
Total Money Offered: $320,000 (Prize Awards); $600,000 (OTA Contract Awards)
Challenge Topic: Scalable power and energy solutions; Novel materials for weight reduction and survivability
Partner Agency: Army Futures Command (AFC); Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC); CCDC Soldier Center (SC)
Submission Dates: March 15, 2020 — April 16, 2020
Winner Announced: July 31, 2020
Who Can Submit: United States-based companies or organizations

Finalists

Black Diamond Structures
Discrete Carbon Nanotube Additive for Enhanced Performance and Safety of Army Lithium Ion Batteries
Focus Area: Topic A: Scalable Power and Energy Solutions
FPH USA
Novel Materials for Weight Reduction and Survivability
Focus Area: Topic B: Novel Materials for Weight Reduction and Survivability
LiquidPiston
400W X-engine Micro Generator (XMG)
Focus Area: Topic A: Scalable Power and Energy Solutions
Mafic USA
First U.S. Produced BASALT Fiber for Advancement of Ballistic Developments of Military Vehicles, Support Systems and Infrastructure
Focus Area: Topic B: Novel Materials for Weight Reduction and Survivability
Spark Thermonics, Inc.
Small Form Factor, Fuel Flexible Thermionic Generators
Focus Area: Topic A: Scalable Power and Energy Solutions
Maynard Steel Casting Company
Development of Lightweight All Steel Precision Engineered, Low Density Prototype Panels for use in Military Ground Vehicles using Patented Sand Cast Process
Focus Area: Topic B: Novel Materials for Weight Reduction and Survivability
TexPower, Inc.
Cobalt-free High-Energy Lithium Batteries for Military Applications
Focus Area: Topic A: Scalable Power and Energy Solutions
UHV Technology, Inc.
Affordable Manufacturing of Military Grade Lightweight Metal Alloys from Domestic Automotive Scrap
Focus Area: Topic B: Novel Materials for Weight Reduction and Survivability

Description

The U.S. Army would like to invite interested companies to participate in the Innovation Combine is now scheduled to take place virtually from July 14-15, 2020, and will provide a forum to collaborate with the Army, earn prize money, and provide potential funding opportunities to tackle Army challenges with scalable power and energy solutions and novel materials for weight reduction and survivability. Prize money will be awarded to selected projects and funding opportunities will be available through the Ground Vehicle Systems Other Transaction Agreement (GVS OTA), W15QKN-17-9-1025 as described below.

The efforts described in this Notice are being pursued under the authorities of 10 USC 2374a and 10 USC 2371b.


Problem Statement

The purpose of the Innovation Combine is to deliver an innovative approach to compete for an award in the accelerating military technology ecosystem. Submissions will be open to prototype projects that may considerably improve Army platforms, Army weapons systems, or Army support systems. Topic areas and associated problem statements are listed below. Only U.S.-based companies or organizations are considered eligible to participate in this effort. White papers that do not address the problem statements below or submitted from non U.S.-based companies or organizations will not be considered for this effort.

Topic A: Scalable power and energy solutions.

  • Problem Statement A: The Army has a need for lighter, energy dense, safe, rechargeable batteries that can be demonstrated at the battery prototype level of 400Whr/kg (cell level 500Whr/kg) -or- a small form factor power generation system that could include fuel cells or small engine technologies to recharge batteries while on the move that is light weight, (< 5-6 lbs., including fuel).

Topic B: Novel materials for weight reduction and survivability.

  • Problem Statement B: For military ground vehicle structures, ballistic and blast load requirements often trump structural requirements, leading to very thick structures. Contrary to aerostructures, for thick ground vehicle structures, materials with high strength and elongation capabilities are better than ultra-high stiffness materials. To enable lightweight military ground vehicles, there is a need for affordable materials that are resilient to high loading rate events and are able to absorb large amounts of energy without breaking.

Schedules and Prizes

PHASE I WHITE PAPERS:

March 15 - April 15, 2020

Up to 28 winners

$5,000*/winner

A white paper outlining their technology and viability, the potential impact on the Army, and other dual-use cases. Specifically, in the abstract section, each company must include a narrative about why their solution fits the definition of a prototype project. Each white paper will be reviewed by an Army panel from the Army Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem including technical, acquisition, and user experts.

*$5,000 each and invitation to the Innovation Combine virtual event, currently scheduled for July 14-15, 2020.

PHASE II PROTOTYPE PROPOSALS

May 18, 2020

Up to 8 winners

Move to Phase III

Submit a prototype project proposal, quad chart, presentation, and invite them to present their prototype project at the Innovation Combine, scheduled for July 14-15, 2020. During Phase II, all eight selected companies will be required to become a National Advanced Mobility Consortium, Inc. (NAMC) member and participate in-person at the Innovation Combine. Any company that is unable or unwilling to become a NAMC member and attend the Innovation Combine will not be eligible for any future awards. In the event a selected company is unable or unwilling to become a NAMC member, the Government may select an alternate company from the white paper responses provided in Phase I.
PHASE III PRESENTATIONS

July 14-15, 2020

Up to 8 winners

$45,000*

All others: $15,000/winner

A virtual presentation, to include a questions and answers session, to a panel of Army SMEs at the Innovation Combine. Company presentations will be held virtually at the Innovation Combine scheduled for July 14-15, 2020 to an open forum of registered AUSA Futures Conference attendees that may include Government, industry, and academia attendees. Project representatives will present their prototype project(s) and team ability. Each company will have up to 10 minutes to present, followed by up to 10 minutes for questions and answers with the Army panel of SMEs.

*Top 2 Companies: Pre-award under the GVS OTA and $45,000 each. All others: $15,000

Judging Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of Army science and technology ecosystem including technical, acquisition, and user experts.

Phase I: White Paper

Concept White Papers will be evaluated and ranked using the following Scoring Criteria:

  • Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 35%
  • Scientific and Engineering Viability – 35%
  • Dual Use – 20%
  • Proposal Quality – 10%

Judging criteria phase II and II will be sent out to participants invited to those rounds.

How to Enter

White paper submissions must adhere to the following requirements:

  • All white papers must be submitted using the template found on the registration page, “InnovationCombine_WhitePaper_Template.doc”. Any white papers submitted in a format other than that provided by the template will not be reviewed.
  • Please list your company name and white paper title exactly how you would like them to appear on any contest marketing materials. White paper respondents should use clear and concise white paper titles to give readers and potential stakeholders understanding of what the technology is.
  • White paper submissions that do not address one (1) of the problem statements above or does not fit the definition of a prototype project will not be considered for this notice and the Innovation Combine.
  • All white paper submissions must be received by 11:59 PM PST on 15 April 2020. White paper submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

White papers, prototype project proposals, quad charts, and presentations submitted to the effort may generate interest by another Army organization for a funding opportunity outside of this program (e.g., submission of a proposal under a Broad Agency Announcement). The interested Army organization may contact the participant to provide additional information. Additionally, all white papers and prototype projects proposals are treated as privileged information.

Detailed feedback will be provided to all projects at the end of Phase I. Detailed feedback will be provided to all projects at the end of Phase II upon request. Detailed feedback will be provided to all projects at the end of Phase III upon request. The purpose of providing feedback is to help accelerate transition of the technology to an Army user by providing insight on best applications for the technology within the Army, suggestions for product improvement for Army use, and recommended next steps for development. The Government will not be obligated to respond to questions or inquiries regarding the provided feedback.

Disclaimers

Registered participants shall be required to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related projects, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in this competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

Participants shall be required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility, in amounts determined by the Army, for claims by—

  • Third parties for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in this prize competition, with the Federal Government named as an additional insured under the registered participant’s insurance policy and registered participants agreeing to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to prize competition activities; and
  • Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.

Intellectual Property

The Army is a strong proponent of deliberate intellectual property (IP) rights and management by the private sector and the Department of Defense. For the Innovation Combine effort:

  • The Federal Government may not gain an interest in IP developed by a participant without the written consent of the participant;
  • Nothing in this competition shall diminish the Government’s rights in patents, technical data, technical information, computer software, computer databases, and computer software documentation that the Government had prior to this effort, or is entitled to, under any other Government Agreement or contract, or is otherwise entitled to under law; and
  • The Federal Government may negotiate a license for the use of IP developed by a registered participant in the prize competition.

Contact

Phase I: The xTech Team

Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Research and Technology
Email: usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil
or

Phase II & Phase III – Presentations: The GVS OTA Team

Army Contracting Command (ACC) – Detroit Arsenal
Emails: marta.furman.civ@mail.mil, elizabeth.a.wearn.civ@mail.mil, and mohamed.a.karaki.civ@mail.mil