xTech Competition

xTechSpecial Forces offers small businesses up to $470K in cash prizes

Published: 05/01/2024

By Daniel Smoot, Office of Army Prize Competitions and Army SBIR Program

Led by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, the U.S. Army xTech Program launched xTechSpecial Forces — a competition seeking novel technologies to enhance national security and support advanced military capabilities.

In coordination with the U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), the competition provides a forum for innovators to share their world-class solutions with the Department of Defense. With a focus on GPS-denied ATAK Compatible Self-Location Applications; SWARM Tracker – Counter – UxS Warning Systems; PSYOP Product Air Delivery Vehicles; Non-attributable Mobile Mesh Network Radios; and Distributed Electromagnetic Sensing, Automated Characterization and Simple Reporting Systems, xTechSpecial Forces leverages the capabilities of nontraditional vendors to safeguard national interests and promote global stability.

xTechSpecial Forces helps the DoD integrate businesses into its science and technology ecosystem by offering up to $470,000 in cash prizes. The competition also provides an opportunity for vendors to submit proposals for an Army Small Business Innovation Research Phase I or Direct to Phase II contract valued at up to $250,000 and $2 million, respectively. Direct to Phase II and Phase II recipients will also have the unique opportunity to participate in an experimentation event to receive direct feedback from end-users.

Firms can earn these potential awards across four rounds, which include:

Part One: Concept White Paper

Eligible vendors will submit a four-page concept white paper highlighting their technology, its benefit to the Army and its viability. DoD experts from across the science and technology ecosystem will review the proposed solutions following submissions.

The deadline for concept white paper submissions is between May 1 and June 12, 2024.

Up to 12 vendors will receive $10,000 each in cash prizes and have the chance to take part in the xTechSpecial Forces Accelerator. This is a cohort-based program designed to help vendors develop their concepts via educational programming and diverse mentorship.

Part Two: Finals Events

Following the concept white paper round, vendors will compete in the competition’s finals event. During this time, participants will conduct an in-person pitch or demonstration of their solutions to a panel of warfighters, and acquisition and research and development experts. These evaluators will then name up to 10 winners to receive non-dilutive cash prizes and the opportunity to take part in the Army SBIR Program. The event will take place in Fort Liberty, N.C. between Sept. 2-6.

Part Three: Post-Competition SBIR Proposal Submissions

The Army SBIR Program will issue a separate announcement providing businesses with detailed instructions on how to submit proposal materials. xTechSpecial Forces winners selected to submit an Army SBIR Phase I contract proposal will receive $35,000 in cash prizes and could earn up to $250,000 in contract awards. Meanwhile, firms selected to submit a Direct to Phase II Army SBIR contract will receive $70,000 in cash prizes and could earn up to $2 million in contract awards.

The deadline to submit the Army SBIR proposal is between Sept. 26 and Oct. 22.

Part Four: Post-Competition Experimentation Event

Businesses that received a Direct to Phase II contract and Phase II contract following their Phase I, will have a unique opportunity to participate in an experimentation event. The event will take place during or after their contract award. During this time, vendors will directly engage with end-users to develop a deeper understanding of the real-world application and operational requirements of their technology solutions.

About the xTech Program

Established in 2018, the Army xTech Program provides opportunities for direct exposure to laboratories, program executive offices and program managers across the Army. Participants receive detailed feedback from Army DoD stakeholders and have access to training, mentorship and networking opportunities.

This feedback helps guide businesses through the competition and determine where their solutions best align within the Army. The xTech Program holds several competitions per year. These include open-topic competitions such as xTechSearch and technology-specific competitions that target key Army challenges.

To learn more about current and upcoming competitions, please visit the xTech website at www.xtech.army.mil. You can also navigate to the bottom right of our homepage to sign up and hear about how your small businesses or academic institutions can develop game-changing technologies to address Army challenges. For questions, you can contact us via email at usarmy.pentagon.hqda-asa-alt.mbx.xtechsearch@army.mil

xTechSpecial Forces offers small businesses up to $470K in cash prizes

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