xTechSpecial Forces

 The U.S. Army invites U.S.-based small businesses to participate in xTechSpecial Forces, a competition for eligible vendors across the country to engage with the Department of Defense, earn prize money, participate in a business accelerator program and submit a Phase I or Direct to Phase II U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research proposal. 

    DESCRIPTION

     The U.S. Army invites U.S.-based small businesses to participate in xTechSpecial Forces, a competition for eligible vendors across the country to engage with the Department of Defense, earn prize money, participate in a business accelerator program and submit a Phase I or Direct to Phase II U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research proposal.

    The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology partnered with the U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) to deliver the xTechSpecial Forces competition. The Army recognizes it must enhance engagements with small businesses by understanding the commercial market’s spectrum of world-class solutions and how they may benefit the DoD. In that same vein, the Army seeks to integrate the sector of nontraditional innovators into the DoD Science and Technology ecosystem while providing expertise and feedback to accelerate, mature and transition technologies of interest to the DoD. To help accomplish this, the Army will provide opportunities for small businesses to participate in experimentation events that allow for real-time testing by end-users.

    The xTechSpecial Forces competition will consist of four rounds:

    1. Call for concept white papers.
    2. Final pitch event and demonstration.
    3. Opportunity to submit a Phase I or D2PhII Army SBIR proposal.
    4. Opportunity to participate in an experimentation event post-D2PhII/Phase II award.

    The competition will award up to $470,000 in cash prizes to selected participants. Up to 12 finalists will receive a cash prize of $10,000 each and an invitation to pitch their innovative technology solutions to a panel of Army and DoD subject matter experts during an in-person event at Fort Liberty, NC. The Army will select up to five final winners, each eligible for a $70,000 cash prize and a chance to submit a D2PhII Army SBIR proposal worth up to $2 million and/or up to 10 final winners to receive a cash prize of $35,000 each and an opportunity to submit a Phase I Army SBIR proposal worth up to $250,000.

    Beyond non-dilutive cash prizes, participants can engage with Army and DoD representatives through information-sharing and networking opportunities. Finalists can enter into an optional xTech Accelerator to receive intensive mentorship, networking and education to assist in growing their companies for DoD and commercial use.

    To award cash prizes, recognize advanced technology achievements addressing complex challenges and enhance national security, the xTech Program pursued the efforts described in this notice under the authorities of 10 U.S.C. § 4025. All winners can submit for an Army Special Forces SBIR Phase I or D2PhII award under the provisions and requirements of 15 USC 638.

    While the authority of this program is 10 U.S.C. § 4025, the xTechSpecial Forces competition may generate interest by another U.S. Army, DoD or United States Government organization for a funding opportunity outside of this program (e.g., submission of a proposal under a Broad Agency Announcement). The interested organization may contact the participant to provide additional information or ask for a request for proposal in a separate solicitation. Finalists of the prize competition may receive an invitation to submit a separate proposal for further development of their proposed technology solution based on the needs of the Army. The Army may use a contract mechanism of their choice and will notify the participants accordingly.

    The program treats all xTechSpecial Forces competition submissions as privileged information, and it only discloses contents to government employees or designated support contractors for the purpose of evaluation and program support.

    The xTech Program uses the online evaluation and feedback tool, Valid Eval, to accept applications and streamline the evaluation and feedback process. xTech will provide a feedback report to participants during each part of the competition that vendors can access through the tool. By providing this report, the program aims to assist in potentially accelerating transition of the technology to an Army end-user by providing insight on best applications for the technology, suggestions for product improvement for Army use and recommended next steps for development. However, the government may not respond to questions or inquiries regarding this feedback.

    Topics and Problem Statements

    The U.S. Army 1st Special Forces Command plays a pivotal role in national security by executing a diverse range of missions with precision, agility and expertise. They often train to operate in harsh and hostile environments and serve as force multipliers to extend the reach of U.S. military power and enhance interoperability with partner forces worldwide. This helps safeguard national interests and promote global stability.

    The U.S. Army wants novel technology solutions that will drive significant advancements in military capabilities while addressing complex challenges and enhancing national security. The competition seeks technology solutions that fit within one of the five topic areas:

    • Topic 1: GPS denied ATAK Compatible Self Location Application.
    • Topic 2: SWARM Tracker Counter – UxS Warning System.
    • Topic 3: PSYOP Product Air Delivery Vehicle.
    • Topic 4: Non-Attributable Mobile Mesh Network Radio.
    • Topic 5: Distributed Electromagnetic Sensing, Automated Characterization and Simple Reporting Systems.

    Topic descriptions can be found in the competition RFI.

    SCHEDULE AND PRIZES

    PHASE 1: Concept White Paper

    May 1, 2024 - Jun 12, 2024

    Up to 12 Finalists

    $10,000 each

    PHASE 2: Finals Event

    Sep 2, 2024 - Sep 6, 2024

    Up to 10 Winners

    $70,000 each for winners eligible to submit a D2PhII proposal and $35,000 each for winners eligible to submit a Phase I SBIR proposal

    PHASE 3: SBIR Proposal Submission

    Sep 26, 2024 - Oct 22, 2024

    Up to 10 Selectees

    Phase I SBIR awards up to $250,000 each and D2PhII SBIR awards up to $2M each

    PHASE 4:

    -

    ELIGIBILITY

    Small, for-profit, independent U.S. businesses. Restrictions exist regarding the type of firm; its ownership structure; the firm’s size in terms of the number of employees; and prior, current or pending support of similar proposals or awards, as follows:

    1. Type of Firm: An eligible firm must be organized as a for‐profit concern and meet all the other small business requirements in 13 C.F.R. § 121.702. Non‐profit entities are not eligible.
    2. Ownership and Control: A majority (more than 50%) of an eligible firm’s equity (e.g., stock) must be directly owned and controlled by one of the following:
      1. One or more individuals who are citizens or permanent resident aliens of the U.S.
      2. 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.).
      3. 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.

    1.  Size: An eligible firm, together with the affiliates, must not have more than 500 employees.
    2.  Prior, Current, or Pending Support with Similar Technology: Proposals submitted in response to this prize competition must not be substantially the same as another proposal that received funding, is now receiving funds or is pending contract award with another federal agency. Small businesses with any question(s) concerning prior, current or pending support of similar proposals or awards must disclose those as early as possible to the xTech Program Office.

    Submission window is closed.

    xTechSpecial Forces

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