The Army has begun accepting proposals for its first small business-focused technology competition centered around finding new capabilities for its six modernization priorities, with officials planning to hold pitch meetings around the country beginning in July.
The new Expeditionary Technology Search, also called xTechSearch, will award prizes of up to $200,000 to start-ups who demonstrate forward-looking technologies that can be developed to meet critical Army modernization requirements.
“Army is using xTechSearch as a catalyst for the Army to engage with the non-defense traditional business sector, driving American innovation for Army challenges and modernization efforts and spurring economic growth. Aimed at attracting game-changing innovation, xTechSearch will make additional access for small business entrepreneurs to pitch novel technology solutions directly to Army leadership,” Army officials wrote in a statement.
Proposals are being accepted through July 11, and participants selected to move onto the second round will have the chance to pitch their technologies to top Army engineers and program managers. The pitch meetings run from the third week of July through the end of August, and will be held at Army Research Laboratory locations in Adelphi, Md., Austin, Boston, Chicago and Playa Vista, Calif.
A group of up to 25 finalists selected by the Army will have the chance to present their technologies at October’s Association of the United States Army conference in D.C.
Participants who move on to the final phase of the competition in April will meet with senior Army leadership for a Capstone demonstration.
The prize money to the small businesses increases with each successive round of xTechSearch.
Interested participants are asked to submit a proposal that includes a proof of concept for the technology and a description of how the capability can innovatively be applied and potentially integrated with one of the Army’s modernization priorities.
Senior Army leadership have previously detailed their six modernization efforts as Long-Range Precision Fires, Next Generation Combat Vehicle, Future Vertical Lift, The Army Network, Air and Missile Defense and Increasing Soldier Lethality.