xTechSBIR

U.S. Army Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT))

xTechSBIR - Graphic xTechSBIR - Graphic Alt
Total Money Offered: Prize Pool: $864K; SBIR Phase II Funding available: $40M
Challenge Topic: Combat Vehicle Modernization; Multi-Domain Operations
Partner Agency: U.S. Army Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT))
Submission Dates: September 16, 2020 — October 9, 2020
Winner Announced: December 15, 2020
Who Can Submit: United States-based small businesses

Description

The U.S. Army would like to invite interested companies to participate in the xTech Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) competition. The xTechSBIR will provide a forum for small businesses to collaborate with the Army, earn prize money, and engage with other non-traditional Army partners.  Winners of the xTechSBIR will be invited to submit a Direct to Phase II (D2PhII) SBIR proposal to prototype their proposed technology innovations. Prize money will be awarded to selected projects through the Army xTech program and D2PhII SBIR awards will be available through the Army Applied SBIR program, as described below. 

The prize challenge will be used to identify small business concerns that meet the criteria for award of a D2PhII contract under 15 U.S.C. §638. Winners of the prize competition will be the only firms eligible to submit a D2PhII SBIR proposal under the topics listed in this announcement. A separate SBIR D2PhII announcement will be issued concurrent with this prize competition announcement.

Submissions that do not address the problem statements below or not fitting the definition of a prototype* project will not be considered for this effort. The efforts described in this Notice are being pursued under the authorities of 10 USC 2374a, 10 USC 2371b, and 15 USC 638. 

Problem Statement

  • (Full descriptions of each problem statement can be found on the contest submission portal.)

    Topic A: Combat Vehicle Modernization – Advanced Hybrid Networks and Cable Management Strategies

    Objective: This topic seeks novel concepts for reducing cabling requirements within ground combat vehicles, while minimizing the electronic signature footprint, maintaining or improving data throughput rates/capacities, and improving physical characteristics, such as size and weight.  Potential solutions may include one or more transmission mediums.

    Topic B: Autonomous Navigation Sensor Technologies

    Objective: Demonstrate the ability to employ effective passive sensor technologies and associated algorithms and techniques to augment semi-(operator assist capabilities) and fully-autonomous off-road navigation systems for Army Ground Combat Vehicles in Degraded Visual Environments (DVE). The focus of this topic is to augment existing and planned Army autonomous navigation investments and infrastructure (e.g. sensors, data collection, simulation, etc.) leading to improved navigational performance, new capabilities, or SWAP-C (size, weight, power, and cost) reductions.

    Topic C: Advanced Real Time Global High-Resolution Environmental Information to Support Multi-Domain Operations

    Objective: Advanced Real Time Global High-Resolution Environmental Information to Support Multi-Domain Operations for the development and demonstration of a capability that addresses requirements crossing multiple program executive office and program management.  The desired end product of Phase II is to have one or more technically feasible technologies operating as functional prototype(s) during DoD-sanctioned exercises in order to provide operational testing and data collection on the cyber security, usability and effectiveness of prototype(s).

    Topic D: Ultra Narrow-band Emergency Radio

    Objective: The Army seeks a radio capability that will enable large numbers of vehicles and soldiers to communicate at extremely low data rates, and with low probability of being detected or geolocated by adversaries.  The Army of the future requires mission assured communications that will provide anti-jam “Interference Tolerant Wireless Communications” - addressing C3I capability and advanced expeditionary electronic countermeasures (ECM). The communications must deliver a unique undetectable communication channel which overcomes the difficulties in managing interference.  The solution must deliver a frequency-agile communication technology that is effective when operating in harsh radio environments containing significant amounts of interference.

    Topic E: Non-Lethal Vehicle Defense System

    Objective: Army manned and unmanned vehicles must be able to perform their missions in scenarios where they must operate among local populations. The local populations can pose a potential threat to operations, but lethal response measures may not be appropriate. The Army seeks non-lethal solutions that will inhibit or discourage civilians and bystanders from interfering with operations of manned and unmanned platforms.

    Topic F: Condition Based Maintenance for Combat Vehicles

    Objective: Demonstrate the ability to employ technologies and associated algorithms and techniques via new or existing sensors and telematics to create advanced prognostics and diagnostics methodologies for future and current Army vehicles. The focus of this topic is to anticipate component failures and reduce the amount of unplanned maintenance resulting is increased readiness of the fleet.

Schedules and Prizes

REQUEST FOR QUAD CHART

September 15 - October 9, 2020

Up to 12 winners/topic

$2,000/winner

A concept quad chart and optional video up to 3 minutes in length outlining their technology and viability, the potential impact on the Army, commercialization potential, and team qualifications. The quad chart submissions will be evaluated by a team of Army subject matter experts, including technical, acquisition and user experts.
PRESENTATIONS AT XTECHSBIR TECHNOLOGY EVENT

November 16-19, 2020 (Tentative)

Up to 4 winners/topic

$30,000/winner

Up to 12 companies per topic area will present their prototype* project live to a panel of Army subject matter experts (SME). Each company will conduct a live, virtual, closed-door presentation. Project representatives will present their prototype* project, commercialization strategy and team ability. Each company will have up to 15 minutes to present, followed by up to 10 minutes for questions and answers with the Army panel of SMEs.
REQUEST FOR SBIR D2PHII PROPOSALS

November 2 - December 15, 2020

TBD

Up to $1.67M each

The top 4 projects per topic area will receive a prize of $30,000 and will be invited to submit an Army Direct to Phase II proposal, which will be announced separately through the DoD SBIR portal.

Judging Criteria

Scoring criteria and full details can be found on the application website.

Quad chart submissions must adhere to the following requirements:

  • All quad charts must be submitted using the template found on the registration page. Any quad charts submitted in a format other than that provided by the template will not be reviewed. 
  • Submissions that do not address one of the problem statements above or does not fit the definition of a prototype* project will not be considered for this competition.
  • All quad chart submissions must be received by 11:59 PM PDT on October 9, 2020. Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

Quad charts, 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 quad charts and prototype* projects proposals are treated as privileged information.

Detailed judging criteria for Stage B will be sent out to selected applicants.

How to Enter

The xTechSBIR competition is voluntary and open to all US-based small businesses. Registration information and upload submission will be accepted in mid-September and will be reviewed upon receipt.

All interested companies shall submit a quad chart and optional 3-minute video outlining their technology and viability, the potential impact on the Army, commercialization potential, and team qualifications.  The quad chart submissions will be evaluated by a team of Army subject matter experts, including technical, acquisition and user experts.  The review will evaluate the extent, insofar as possible, that the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of ideas presented appear to provide utility in meeting the identified topic challenge and to the extent practical identify commercial potential. Quad chart submissions must adhere to the following requirements:

  • All quad charts must be submitted using the template found on the registration page, once it’s open.
  • Any quad charts submitted in a format other than that provided by the template will not be reviewed. 
  • Submissions that do not address one of the problem statements above or does not fit the definition of a prototype* project will not be considered for this notice.
  • All quad chart submissions must be received by 11:59 PM PST on October 9, 2020. Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.

Quad charts, 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 quad charts and prototype* projects proposals are treated as privileged information.

Up to 12 projects per technical topic with the highest-ranking quad chart submissions will receive a prize of $2,000 and those companies will be invited to attend the xTechSBIR Technology Event, being tentatively held November 9-13, 2020.

*A prototype project can generally be described as a preliminary pilot, test, evaluation, demonstration, or agile development activity used to evaluate the technical or manufacturing feasibility or military utility of a particular technology, process, concept, end item, effect, or other discrete feature. Prototype projects may include systems, subsystems, components, materials, methodology, technology, or processes. By way of illustration, a prototype project may involve: a proof of concept; a pilot; a novel application of commercial technologies for defense purposes; a creation, design, development, demonstration of technical or operational utility; or combinations of the foregoing, related to a prototype.

Disclaimers

The Government will not reimburse participants for any costs associated with preparing or submitting a response to this prize competition. Participation in the xTechSBIR is voluntary. This notice/competition and/or the information presented herein will not obligate the Government in any manner. The posted information is provided for planning purposes only and does not constitute a Request for Proposal.

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 xTechSBIR competition:

  • 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.

For the SBIR D2PhII Awards:

  • All SBIR data and IP rights apply

Contact

xTech Program Office

Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Research and Technology

Email:  usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@mail.mil