xTechInternational 2024

The U.S. Army would like to invite interested international entities to participate in the 2024 xTechInternational competition with a focus on AI for Intelligence and Decision-Making Applications, Quantum Sensing, and Indigenous Materials Forward. xTechInternational is a forum for eligible international small to medium businesses and international academic and research institutions to engage with the U.S. Department of Defense while pitching their novel technology solutions, earning prize money, and potentially participating in an accelerator program.

    DESCRIPTION

    The U.S. Army would like to invite interested international entities to participate in the 2024 xTechInternational competition with a focus on AI for Intelligence and Decision-Making Applications, Quantum Sensing, and Indigenous Materials Forward. xTechInternational is a forum for eligible international small to medium businesses and international academic and research institutions to engage with the U.S. Department of Defense while pitching their novel technology solutions, earning prize money, and potentially participating in an accelerator program.

    The U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC), U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) and the U.S. Office of Naval Research Global (ONR-G) have partnered with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) (ASA(ALT)) to deliver the xTechInternational competition. The Army recognizes that the DoD must enhance engagements with international businesses and academic and research institutions, by: (1) understanding the spectrum of international world-class technologies being developed commercially that may benefit the DoD; (2) integrating the sector of non-traditional international innovators into the DoD Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem; and (3) providing mentorship and expertise to accelerate, mature, and transition technologies of interest to the DoD.

    The xTechInternational competition will consist of three rounds with an optional accelerator for the finalists:

    1. Call for concept white papers;
    2. Virtual technology pitch event; and
    3. Final pitch event.

    The competition will award up to $500,000 in cash prizes to selected participants. Up to 24 semi-finalists from round one will receive a cash prize of $5,000 each and invitation to participate in the virtual technology pitch event in May 2024. Up to 12 participants will be selected as finalists and will receive an additional cash prize of $10,000 each and invited to participate in the finals event that will take place outside of the U.S., in August 2024. The xTechInternational competition will select up to five final winners of the competition, receiving the following prizes: 1st place: $95,000; 2nd place: $70,000; 3rd place: $50,000; 4th place: $30,000 and 5th place: $15,000.

    In addition to non-dilutive cash prizes, participants will have the opportunity to engage with U.S. DoD and other international partners through information sharing and networking opportunities. Finalists will be entered into the xTech Accelerator to receive intensive mentorship and access to networking events to help grow their companies for DoD and commercial use. Details on the prize structure are listed in the announcement below.

    The efforts described in this notice are being pursued under the authorities of 10 U.S.C. § 4025 to award cash prizes as described in this announcement and 10 U.S.C. § 4003 (Prototype Projects). While the authority of this program is 10 U.S.C. § 4025, the xTechInternational competition may generate interest by another U.S. Army, DoD or U.S. government organization for a funding opportunity outside of this event. The interested organization may contact the participant to provide additional information, which may or may not result in partnership opportunities.

    The competition may identify technology solutions from participating international small to medium businesses and academic and research institutions, that meet the criteria for award of a follow-on contract for additional proof-of-concept or prototype development. Finalists of the prize competition may be invited to submit a proposal for further development of their proposed technology innovation based on the needs of the Army, DoD or other U.S. government agency. The Army may use a contract mechanism of its choice and will notify the participants accordingly. The efforts described in this notice are being pursued under the authorities of 10 U.S.C. §4025.

    All xTechInternational competition submissions are treated as privileged information, and contents are disclosed to U.S. and International defense civilian and military employees who are part of their host-nation’s Ministry/Department of Defense (MOD/DoD) or designated support contractors only for the purpose of evaluation and program support.

    TOPICS AND PROBLEM STATEMENTS 

    xTechInternational is seeking novel capabilities and technology solutions within AI for Intelligence and Decision-Making Applications, Quantum Sensing and Indigenous Materials Forward that can assist in tackling the Army’s current and future needs, enabling new capabilities, improved performance, faster production, or cost savings for Army systems.

    AI for Intelligence and Decision-Making Applications (Swarm Algorithms, Autonomous systems, UAS and c-UAS, etc.): The U.S. Army is actively seeking AI technologies that augment the intelligence and decision-making capabilities of military systems while protecting key strategic and operational data. Examples include but are not limited to:

    • Swarm algorithms: AI technology used to enhance the collective intelligence of decentralized, self-organized systems. These systems can be both human-based and/or artificial.
    • Autonomous systems: Technology that can orchestrate different tasks across various AI algorithms to enhance algorithm synergies and military decision-making.
    • Unmanned aerial systems (UAS): Increased machine learning capabilities to be incorporated into future systems.
    • Counter-unmanned aerial systems (c-UAS): Technology used to detect, identify and track unmanned aerial vehicles.
    • Data curation: Technology that can aid in data collection, generation and labeling. These can be for real, synthetic, or hybrid training and include multi spectral.

    Quantum Sensing and Materials: The U.S. Army is interested in enabling technologies to accelerate research, development and adoption of quantum capabilities. Examples of these technologies may include but are not limited to:

    • Novel sensor applications: Single, coherent ensembles, entangled ensembles and distributed qubits; special emphasis on sensing in noisy environments.
    • Signal processing algorithms and error correction methods for quantum sensors.
    • Quantum position, navigation, and timing (PNT) systems.
    • Size, Weight, Power, and Cost (SWaP-cC) optimization. This optimization could focus on quantum components or their enabling technologies.
    • Innovative approaches to enhance efficacy, such as electric, magnetic, or radiological shielding.
    • Innovative subcomponent design such as cooling, vacuum system or on-chip optics.
    • Manufacturability of critical quantum components or enabling technologies.
    • Application of AI/ML techniques to quantum technology.

    Indigenous Materials Forward: The U.S. Army is seeking unique technologies and methods to integrate indigenous materials and systems to support supply-chain resiliency for sustainment. Examples include:

    • Novel technologies for food manufacturing: Examples include but are not limited to food additive manufacturing, biomanufactured food products and ingredients, mobile systems for food production at point of need, methods to detect and mitigate contaminants or adulterants in indigenous foods, unique methods to reduce size and weight of shelf- stable products with high nutritional value, etc.
    • Low-logistics indigenous materials utilization: This may include organic/inorganic materials naturally occurring or salvaged from local area.
    • Novel methods to reduce life-cycle burden of locally generated waste: Examples include but are not limited to edible packaging materials for food/utensils, readily compostable/biodegradable materials, technologies that turn waste streams into value- added products, rational design of materials for circular use, etc.
    • Portable systems for in-theater additive manufacturing.

    SCHEDULE AND PRIZES

    PHASE 1: Part 1: Concept White Paper

    Jan 31, 2024 - Mar 7, 2024

    Up to 24 Semifinalists

    $5,000 each

    PHASE 2: Part 2: Virtual Technology Pitches

    May 20, 2024 - May 31, 2024

    Up to 12 Finalists

    $10,000 each

    PHASE 3: Part 3: Finals

    Aug 12, 2024 - Aug 23, 2024

    Up to 5 Winners

    1st place: $95,000; 2nd place: $70,000; 3rd place: $50,000; 4th place: $30,000; 5th place: $15,000

    PHASE 4:

    -

    ELIGIBILITY

    The entities eligible to participate in this competition must be international, non-U.S. based small to medium businesses or international academic and research institutions. A small to medium business is defined as those with <1,500 staff headcount. An academic or research institution is not limited to overall staff headcount. Participating entities must have or be able to obtain a NCAGE code if selected to advance in the competition. Instructions on how to obtain a NCAGE code can be found on the xTechInternational registration page. U.S. entities are eligible to participate only if they are partnering with an international business and the international business is the lead, identified as the point of contact and submitter.

    Each eligible entity:

    • Shall be incorporated in, and maintain, a primary place of business in a foreign country;
    • May not be a U.S. federal or foreign government entity or employ a U.S. federal employee acting within the scope of their employment;
    • Must be able to obtain a NCAGE code to process payments; and
    • May not be a U.S. business or U.S. academic or research institution.

    Submission window is closed.

    xTechInternational

    xTechInternational 2024

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