Army awards prizes for breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, computing, sensing | Article


(From left) Chief of strategic partnerships at Army Research Laboratory, Zeke Topolosky, principal deputy for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Young J. Bang, and Director of Army prize competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program, Dr .  Matt Willis, taking questions from participants during the xTechSearch 6 competition finals held May 10-12 in Arlington, Virginia.  (U.S. Army)



(From left) Chief of strategic partnerships at Army Research Laboratory, Zeke Topolosky, principal deputy for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Young J. Bang, and Director of Army prize competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program, Dr . Matt Willis, taking questions from participants during the xTechSearch 6 competition finals held May 10-12 in Arlington, Virginia. (U.S. Army)
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

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WASHINGTON — Ten small businesses with breakthrough technologies in artificial intelligence, computing, sensing and other critical readiness and modernization capabilities are the latest recipients of cash prizes awarded through the US Army xTech program, the service’s competition series that revolutionized how it attracts and encourages innovation from non-traditional sources.

The 10 winning companies were among 20 small businesses invited to present their innovative solutions during the xTechSearch 6 competition finals held May 10-12 in Arlington, Virginia. Each winner received a $25,000 cash prize, an opportunity to participate in a business accelerator program and an invitation to submit their solution for an Army Small Business Innovation Research contract of up to $250,000.

The winning companies are:

  • IMSAR LLC, Springville, Utah — “Extending Performance of Attritable Radars in Contested Environments”
  • Legionarius LLC, Wilmington, Del. — “Smart Shirt for Wound Detection (Shot, Shrapnel, Cut, Burn) Integrated with ATAK and BATDOK”
  • Macro-Eyes Inc., Fall City, Wash. — “Vision-Based Inventory Management”
  • QuSecure Inc., San Mateo, Calif. — “Quantum Resilient Cybersecurity for the US Army”
  • RISE Robotics, Somerville, Mass. — “Solid-State Technology to Power Next-Generation US Army Heavy Machinery”
  • SixMap Inc., Pasadena, Calif. — “Next-Generation Real-Time Network Mapping for Computer Network Operations”
  • Somewear Labs, San Francisco, Calif. — “The Global Hotspot: Connecting Untethered Soldiers Around the Globe”
  • Stealth Power, Austin, Texas — “Idle Reduction Technology to Bridge the Gap Between the Present and the Army’s Electric Vehicle Future”
  • Storagenergy Technologies Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah — “High-Energy Anodeless Battery for Unmanned Ground Vehicles and Beyond”
  • Tomahawk Robotics, Melbourne, Fla. — “Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning at the Tactical Edge”

“Everyone, regardless of if they’re a finalist or not, is a winner in my book because they’re receiving mentorship from the Army, the Program Executive Offices, Army Futures Command and the community, and you’re building relationships,” said Young J. Bang, principal deputy for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, who addressed the finalists. “We want to help you continue your partnership with Army to help us innovate faster, fail, pivot and ultimately modernize and digitize the Army.”

xTechSearch 6 opened in summer 2021 with a call to submit concept white papers for dual-use science and technology solutions that can be leveraged by the Army to advance critical modernization programs or fill gaps in current capabilities. In addition to artificial intelligence, computing and sensing, the white papers covered a wide range of technologies of keen interest to the Army, including advanced materials; command, control and communications; cyber security; data visualization; electronics; human performance; hypersonics machine learning; power generation and management; robotics and synthetic environments.

Of the nearly 300 small businesses that submitted white papers, 50 were selected to receive $5,000 and the chance to pitch their project to a panel of Army and DoD subject-matter experts. The pitch event concluded in November 2021 with 20 companies awarded $15,000 and an invitation to compete in the finals.

Established in 2018, the xTechSearch competition strives to integrate small businesses and non-traditional vendors into the Army’s Science and Technology ecosystem by providing opportunities for direct exposure to Army laboratories, program executive offices and program managers from across the Army. Participants receive detailed feedback from Army and DoD stakeholders and have access to training, mentorship and other support infrastructure as they progress through the competition to determine how best to align their technology solutions with real users and buyers within the Army. Finalists are admitted to the xTech Accelerator — at no costs to the companies — to receive additional mentorship and networking opportunities to help grow their companies for government and commercial users.

The Army xTech program holds several competitions per year, from open-topic competitions through iterations of xTechSearch, to technology-specific competitions targeting specific Army needs and challenges. For all competition information, visit the xTechSearch website.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology provides the American Soldier with a decisive advantage in any mission by developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the world’s finest equipment and services, and by leveraging technologies and capabilities to meet current and future Army needs.

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