The entities allowed to participate in this competition are small businesses as defined under section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. § 638). Eligible businesses must fall within the Small Business Administration’s size standard for the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes 541713, 541714 and 541715: 1,000 employees (under 13 CFR Part 121 Section 121.201).
Sole proprietors may participate in xTechSearch if the individual is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and the business is registered in the United States. Foreign companies may participate in xTechSearch by establishing a US domestic business relationship (e.g., wholly owned US subsidiary) or partner with a US based company. Companies that have previously participated in the xTechSearch competition are eligible to participate for new technology concepts or improvements to prior submitted proposals.
- Shall provide registration information and upload proposal submission in the Challenge.gov registration portal by 11:59 PM PST on 31 December 2018 (2:59 AM EST on 1 January 2019).
- Shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States;
- May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment
Evaluation Criteria and Process
Phase I: Concept White Paper Contest
The Concept White Paper phase invites all eligible contestants to complete a concept paper outlining their knowledge, skills, capabilities and approach for this challenge. Each concept paper will be reviewed by a panel of Army subject matter experts who will select the contestants to be invited to the xTechSearch Technology Pitch Forums. Companies selected by the panel will receive a prize of $4,000 and an invitation to Phase II: xTechSearch Technology Pitches.
Concept White Papers will be ranked using the following Scoring Criteria:
- Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 50%
- Scientific and Engineering Viability – 50%
Phase II: xTechSearch Technology Pitches
The xTechSearch Technology Pitch phase invites companies to complete an in-person venture-capital style pitch to a panel of Army subject matter experts at locations across the United States. Companies will pitch their technology and a proposed live proof-of-concept demonstration for Phase III (15 minute pitch followed by 10 minutes for questions and answers). Finalists selected by the judging panel will receive a prize of $10,000 and an invitation to attend Phase III: AUSA Innovators’ Corner.
Technology Pitches will be ranked using the following Scoring Criteria:
- Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 40%
- Scientific and Engineering Viability - 40%
- Proof-of-Concept Demonstration Plan – 10%
- Team Ability – 10%
Phase III: AUSA Innovators’ Corner
The AUSA Innovators’ Corner phase provides up to twenty five (25) xTechSearch finalists to be featured at the AUSA Innovators’ Corner at the AUSA Global Force meeting, 26-28 March 2019 in Huntsville, AL. The finalists will leverage Army-sponsored exhibit space to engage with Department of Defense (DoD) customers, Army leadership, industry partners, and academia.
Up to twelve (12) Phase III prize winners will be announced at AUSA and provided a prize of $120,000 and 6 months to demonstrate proof-of-concept for their xTechSearch technology at the Phase IV: xTechSearch Capstone Demonstration.
Phase IV: xTechSearch Capstone Demonstration
The xTechSearch Capstone Demonstration is an opportunity for each Phase III winner to demonstrate proof-of-concept for their technology solution to Army subject matter experts and DoD leadership at the AUSA Annual Meeting, October 2019, Washington DC. A single grand-prize winner will be selected for the technology concept with the greatest potential for impact and to revolutionize the Army. The grand-prize winner of the xTechSearch will receive an additional $250,000.
Prizes and Incentives
Prizes will be offered under 15 USC §3719 (Prize competitions). The total prize pool is $2.18 M. Click the "Prizes" tab for a breakdown of prizes by phase.
Each prize winner will also be offered opportunities to partner with one or more of the Army laboratories across the country, with access to Army subject matter experts, laboratory equipment, and other research support assets.
Proposed Schedule (Subject to Adjustments)
- 9 November 2018: Solicitation period opens.
- 31 December 2018: Solicitation period closes.
- 8 Februrary 2019: Phase II Selection Announcements
- 25 February - 8 March 2019: Phase II Technology Pitches
- 11 March 2019: Phase III Selection Announcements
- 26 - 28 March 2019: Phase III - AUSA Global Force, Huntsville, AL
- 28 March 2019: Phase IV Selection Announcements
- October 2019: Phase IV Capstone - AUSA Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
Registered participants shall be required to agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in a prize competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.
Participants shall be required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility, in amounts determined by the Army, for claims by—
- Third parties for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with participation in a prize competition, with the Federal Government named as an additional insured under the registered participant’s insurance policy and registered participants agreeing to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to prize competition activities; and
- Federal Government for damage or loss to Government property resulting from such an activity.
The Army is a strong proponent of deliberate intellectual property (IP) rights and management by the private sector and the Department of Defense.
For the xTechSearch program:
- The Federal Government may not gain an interest in IP developed by a participant without the written consent of the participant;
- Nothing in this xTechSearch prize competition shall diminish the Government’s rights in patents, technical data, technical information, computer software, computer databases, and computer software documentation that the Government had prior to this xTechSearch prize competition, or is entitled to, under any other Government Agreement or contract, or is otherwise entitled to under law; and
- The Federal Government may negotiate a license for the use of IP developed by a registered participant in the prize competition.
Point of Contact
The xTechSearch Coordinators are listed below:
Dr. Matt Willis and Mr. Joshua Israel
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Research and Technology
2800 Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA 22202