xTechSearch is the U.S. Army’s only open-topic prize competition. Focused on harnessing new and disruptive technologies, xTechSearch 8 integrates small businesses into the Army’s Science and Technology ecosystem. Participants will have access to training and advising as they progress through the competition to determine how best to align their technology solutions with real users and buyers within the Army. The competition will provide up to $800,000 in cash prizes and winners will receive an invite to submit a proposal for a $250,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract.
The Army invites interested entities to participate in the xTechSearch 8 competition, a forum for eligible small and independent U.S. businesses to engage with the Department of Defense (DOD), earn prize money, participate in the accelerator program and potentially submit for a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. xTechSearch offers an opportunity to pitch novel technology solutions — new applications for an existing technology or entirely new technology concepts — to the Army.
The xTechSearch 8 competition will provide up to $800,000 in cash prizes to select eligible entities. Up to 50 finalists will receive a cash prize of $2,000 each and an invitation to demonstrate their innovative technology solutions to address Army challenges. Judges will select up to 20 participants as the final winners of the competition to receive an additional cash prize of $35,000 each and the potential opportunity to submit for a Phase I SBIR award of up to $250,000 each. Details on the prize structure and SBIR structure are listed below. All SBIR plans are contingent on the reauthorization of the SBIR program.
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (ASA(ALT)) recognizes the Army must enhance engagements with small businesses by understanding the spectrum of world-class technologies in commercial development that may benefit the DOD in the manufacturing space. ASA(ALT) also understands the importance of integrating the commercial innovator sector into the DOD Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem.
The xTechSearch competition strives to integrate small businesses into the Army’s S&T ecosystem by providing research opportunities with Army labs, including authorized access to the Army’s organic intellectual and technical capital. Participants will receive detailed feedback from Army and DOD stakeholders. As they progress through the competition, participants will have access to training, advising, and other support infrastructure to determine how best to align their technology solutions with real users and buyers within the Army.
Army Focus Areas
xTechSearch seeks novel, disruptive concepts and technology solutions with dual-use capabilities that can assist in tackling the Army’s current needs and apply to current Army concepts. The intent is to provide the Army with transformative technology solutions while enabling cost savings throughout the Army systems’ life cycle. Critical technology focus areas include artificial intelligence and machine learning; autonomy; climate and clean tech; contested logistics and sustainment; immersive and wearables; and sensors. See the attached document on the Valid Eval registration page for a list of the top Army modernization priorities and other critical Army focus areas.
Oct 17, 2023 - Nov 30, 2023
Up to 50 Finalists
Apr 22, 2024 - May 3, 2024
Up to 20 Winners
May 14, 2024 - Jun 13, 2024
Up to 20 Winners
Small, independent U.S. businesses. Restrictions exist about (1) the type of firm, (2) its ownership structure, and (3) the firm’s size in terms of the number of employees, as follows:
a. One or more individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the U.S.
b. Other for‐profit small business concerns (each of which is directly owned and controlled by individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the U.S.)
c. A combination of (a) and (b) above.
Note: If an Employee Stock Ownership Plan owns all or part of the concern, each stock trustee and plan member is considered an owner. If a trust owns all or part of the concern, each trustee and trust beneficiary is considered an owner.
Foreign companies may participate in xTechSearch by partnering with a U.S. based company that meets the type of firm, ownership structure, and size requirements defined above, so long as the U.S. small business is the primary lead.
Companies that have previously participated in xTechSearch competitions are eligible to participate for new technology concepts or improvements to prior submitted proposals.
Finalists from the xTechSearch 7 competition are not eligible to participate in this competition unless they partner with another firm that did not reach the finals of xTechSearch 7, so long as the alternate firm is the primary lead. xTechSearch 7 finalists will be eligible to once again participate in the xTechSearch series and submit a proposal of their own when xTechSearch 9 launches.
Technologies that fall exclusively within the portfolio of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, which include military infectious diseases, combat casualty care, military operational medicine, chemical biological defense, and clinical and rehabilitative medicine, are excluded from xTechSearch.