The U.S. Army would like to invite interested entities to participate in the xTechManufacture competition, a forum for eligible U.S. based small businesses, sole proprietors and institutions of higher education including accredited post-secondary institutions, to engage with the Department of Defense, earn prize money and participate in the 2022 Defense Manufacturing Conference in Tampa, FL from December 5-8, 2022.
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology through the Army’s xTech program is partnering with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD R&E) and the Joint Defense Manufacturing Technology Panel (JDMTP), to host this competition. The JDMTP is made up of key DOD personnel that make up the manufacturing arm of the DOD with representatives from the OUSD R&E, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Missile Defense Agency, and U.S. Defense Logistics Agency. The DOD recognizes that it must enhance engagements with small businesses, sole proprietors and institutions across the U.S. by (1) understanding the spectrum of ‘world-class’ technologies being developed commercially that may benefit the DOD in the manufacturing space and (2) integrating the sector of commercial innovators into the DOD Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem.
The xTechManufacture competition is an opportunity for eligible entities to pitch novel advanced manufacturing solutions directly to the DOD. In addition to non-dilutive cash prizes, entities will have the opportunity to engage with DOD and other partners through information sharing and networking opportunities. The xTechManufacture competition will provide operational and technical feedback from DOD subject matter experts on proposed ideas submitted to this competition and offer the finalists cash prizes and opportunities to participate in the 2022 DMC where there will be additional networking opportunities throughout the conference.
The purpose of the xTechManufacture competition is to invest in the emerging, critical, technologies outlined below and address the manufacturing challenges affecting the defense industrial base’s ability to advance the technology into acquisition systems by engaging new industry partners through providing an opportunity to pitch novel technology solutions directly to the DOD. Topic areas and associated problem statements are listed below; the ability to de-risk and scale-up the manufacturability is a critical element to our national security. The efforts described in this announcement are being pursued under the authorities of 10 U.S.C. § 4025 (Prizes for Advanced Technology Achievements, formerly 10 U.S.C. 2374a) and 10 U.S.C. § 4022 (Prototype Projects) (formerly 10 U.S.C. § 2371b).
The crosscutting topic area of manufacturing is important across the defense industrial base. Given the advancements and complexities of requirements for Soldier and Weapon systems, proposals submitted to this competition may have interest to various Department-wide research and procurement programs. While the authority of this program is 10 U.S.C. § 4025, a concept white paper submitted to the xTechManufacture competition may generate interest by another DOD organization for a funding opportunity outside of this program. The interested DOD organization may contact the submitting entity to provide additional information which may or may not result in opportunities outside of this competition.
The xTechManufacture competition seeks to advance the defense industrial base (DIB) through manufacturing innovation. With focused investments aimed at the advancement and maturation of key manufacturing technology processes that move technology from research and development into affordable and timely full-scale production – this competition aims to strengthen alliances and build new partnerships in the following key technology areas with the highest potential impact across the Defense Department.
Topic 1: Hypersonics - Develop leap-ahead and cost-effective technologies to support hypersonic systems that fly within the atmosphere for significant portions of their flight at or above 5 times the speed of sound, or approximately 3700 miles per hour. Hypersonics dramatically shorten the timeline to strike a target and increase unpredictability.
Topic 2: Directed Energy - Development of directed energy systems to include, but not limited to high energy lasers and high-power microwave systems. Some examples of needed technologies: high power beam control components, beam director components and assemblies, high energy laser components, and improvements in directed energy manufacturing techniques and automation technologies for independent manufacturing.
Topic 3: Power and Energy - Development of power and energy devices to include, but not limited to rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, munitions batteries, fuel cells, supercapacitors, and hybrid systems. Some examples of needed technologies: Large-format lithium-ion batteries for lightweight high-energy, high-power weapons systems; printed and flexible hybrid electronics for wearable conformal batteries. (Resource: Power Sources TWG Charter and DOD ManTech Website, Electronics subpanel page).
Topic 4: Digital Thread - Development of software systems to drive a continuous flow of integrated design, analysis, and manufacturing information throughout the product/system life cycle. (Resource: DOD ManTech Website).
Topic 5: Additive Manufacturing - Mature 3-dimensional printing to mitigate diminished manufacturing sources of supply and long lead time supply chain shortfalls by:
- Modernizing national defense systems to improve performance using AM-designed equipment;
- Increasing materiel readiness to rapidly prototype and produce direct parts, thereby reducing the risk of obsolete hardware; and
- Enabling Warfighters to employ innovative solutions on the battlefield through AM capabilities.