xTech Competition

Army launches third prize competition for international innovators

Published: 01/19/2023

Competition will award up to $530,000 with largest global prize pool to-date

By Anna Volkwine, Office of Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army xTech Program has launched the third iteration of its international prize competition, seeking novel science and technology solutions from international innovators. xTechInternational Advanced Manufacturing and Materials is an open call to eligible small businesses and academic and research institutions — on a worldwide scale — to pitch their advanced manufacturing and materials solutions directly to the Department of Defense in support of joint service modernization efforts.

The xTech Program is the Army’s premier prize competition series and is led by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. The latest international competition is an effort among ASA(ALT), Army Futures Command, Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, the U.S. Office of Naval Research Global and the Air Force Research Laboratory. These organizations, alongside xTech, share the mutual goal of discovering novel S&T capabilities that can fill critical DoD mission gaps.

“This year’s competition focuses on advanced manufacturing and materials, which is a topic that connects to each of the DEVCOM centers,” said Ryan Decker, global technology advisor for DEVCOM Atlantic. “xTechInternational Advanced Manufacturing and Materials will uncover novel technologies in this rapidly growing field, so that new capabilities and international partners can be incorporated into DEVCOM programs and provide benefits to U.S. warfighters.”

xTechInternational 2023 will consist of two rounds, including: 1) a call for concept white papers, where up to 10 finalists will receive cash prizes of $10,000 each; and 2) final technology pitches, where up to five winners will be selected and awarded $150,000 for first place; $100,000 for second place; $75,000 for third place; $60,000 for fourth place; and $45,000 for fifth place. The in-person final technology pitches will occur between May and June of this year, and finalists will demonstrate their technology’s ability to solve a critical Army challenge to a group of defense experts. The finals demonstration event will tentatively take place in London, U.K., with dates and location subject to change.

In addition to cash prizes, selected participants will also have an opportunity to participate in the xTech Accelerator Program — at no cost to the companies — which is a six-week cohort designed to provide educational programming, diverse mentorship, venture-building consultation and strategic networking for business development. The goal of the accelerator is to fast-track the transition of technologies to both the DoD and commercial sectors.

xTechInternational Advanced Manufacturing and Materials is the third xTech competition to expand its reach to international innovators, with a prize pool that continues to grow. xTechGlobal Artificial Intelligence had a prize pool of $250,000 and awarded three winners in September 2021, while xTechInternational had a prize pool of $480,000 and announced five winners in the areas of water, energy, or synthetic biology in July 2022. The prize pool for xTechInternational Advanced Manufacturing and Materials is up to $530,000 — a significant increase from the first two iterations.

“Each international competition has scaled up its cash prize offerings, which speaks to the success of the xTech Program and the Army’s growing investment in technology from global industry leaders,” said Amy D’Agostino, xTech program manager. “There are vast opportunities outside of the U.S. for technology transitions to the Army, and the increased prize pool ensures the program can offer financial support to expedite this process.”

To enter the competition, eligible international small businesses and academia must submit their concept white papers by March 2. For all competition information, go to www.xtech.army.mil.

Established in 2018, the Army xTech Program strives to integrate small businesses and non-traditional vendors into the Army’s S&T ecosystem by providing opportunities for direct exposure to laboratories, program executive offices and program managers from across the Army. Participants receive detailed feedback from Army and DoD stakeholders and have access to training, mentorship and other support infrastructure as they progress through the competition to determine how best to align their technology solutions with real users and buyers within the Army.

The xTech Program holds several competitions per year, from open-topic competitions such as xTechSearch, to technology-specific competitions targeting specific Army and DoD needs and challenges.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology provides the American Soldier with a decisive advantage in any mission by developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the world’s finest equipment and services, and by leveraging technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Army needs. For more information, go to https://www.army.mil/asaalt/.

Army launches third prize competition for international innovators

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