Special Notice: Innovation Combine
Request for White Paper and RPP20-09 Release Dates Announcement
The U.S. Army would like to invite interested companies to participate in the Innovation Combine at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Futures Conference, being tentatively held 23-25 June 2020 in Austin, TX. The Innovation Combine, scheduled to take place on 24 June 2020, will provide a forum to collaborate with the Army, earn prize money, and provide potential funding opportunities to tackle Army challenges with scalable power and energy solutions and novel materials for weight reduction and survivability. Prize money will be awarded to selected projects through the Army xTech Vector program and funding opportunities will be available through the Ground Vehicle Systems Other Transaction Agreement (GVS OTA), W15QKN-17-9-1025.
Purpose and Process
The purpose of the Innovation Combine is to deliver an innovative approach to compete for an award in the accelerating military technology ecosystem. Submissions will be open to prototype* projects that may considerably improve Army platforms, Army weapons systems, or Army support systems. Only U.S.-based companies or organizations are considered eligible to participate in this effort.
Topic A: Scalable power and energy solutions.
Problem Statement A: The Army has a need for lighter, energy dense, safe, rechargeable batteries that can be demonstrated at the battery prototype level of 400Whr/kg (cell level 500Whr/kg) -or- a small form factor power generation system that could include fuel cells or small engine technologies to recharge batteries while on the move that is light weight, (< 5-6 lbs., including fuel).
Topic B: Novel materials for weight reduction and survivability.
Problem Statement B: For military ground vehicle structures, ballistic and blast load requirements often trump structural requirements, leading to very thick structures. Contrary to aerostructures, for thick ground vehicle structures, materials with high strength and elongation capabilities are better than ultra-high stiffness materials. To enable lightweight military ground vehicles, there is a need for affordable materials that are resilient to high loading rate events and are able to absorb large amounts of energy without breaking.
The process of this competition will consist of the following three (3) phases:
Phase I – Request for White Papers (RWP)
Phase II – Request for Prototype Proposals (RPP)
Phase III – Presentations
Phase I – Request for White Papers (RWP)
In Phase I, the Government will release a RWP, evaluate all white paper submissions and select up to 28 projects to receive a prize award of $5,000 each. The companies that are selected for the prize award will be invited to attend and participate in the AUSA Futures Conference.
All interested companies shall submit a white paper outlining their technology and viability, the potential impact on the Army, and other dual-use cases. Specifically in the abstract section, each company must include a narrative about why their solution fits the definition of a prototype* project. Each white paper will be reviewed by an Army panel from the Army Science and Technology (S&T) ecosystem including technical, acquisition, and user experts. Companies may submit more than one (1) white paper per problem statement.
The Government anticipates white paper submissions will be evaluated and ranked using the following scoring criteria (further details on each scoring dimension can be found on the Innovation Combine registration page):
Potential for Impact/Revolutionizing the Army – 35%
Scientific and Engineering Viability – 35%
Dual Use – 20%
Proposal Quality – 10%
White paper submissions must adhere to the following requirements:
All white papers must be submitted using the template found on the registration page, “InnovationCombine_WhitePaper_Template.doc”. Any white papers submitted in a format other than that provided by the template will not be reviewed.
Please list your company name and white paper title EXACTLY how you would like them to appear on any contest marketing materials. White paper respondents should use clear and concise white paper titles to give readers and potential stakeholders understanding of what the technology is.
All white paper submissions must be received by 11:59 PM PST on 15 April 2020. White paper submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.
White papers, prototype* project proposals, quad charts, and presentations submitted to the effort may generate interest by another Army organization for a funding opportunity outside of this program (e.g., submission of a proposal under a Broad Agency Announcement). The interested Army organization may contact the participant to provide additional information. Additionally, all white papers and prototype* projects proposals are treated as privileged information.
Up to 28 projects with the highest ranking white papers will receive a prize of $5,000 and those companies will be invited to attend the AUSA Futures Conference, being tentatively held 23-25 June 2020 in Austin, TX. Based on the submitted white papers, the Government will select eight (8) of the 28 companies to participate in Phase II – Request for Prototype Proposals (RPP) and Phase III - Presentations.
Phase II – Request for Prototype Proposals (RPP)
In Phase II, of the 28 selected projects from Phase I, the Government will select up to eight (8) projects to submit a prototype* project proposal, quad chart, presentation, and invite them to present their prototype* project at the Innovation Combine, held on 24 June 2020.
During this phase, all eight (8) selected companies will be required to become a National Advanced Mobility Consortium, Inc. (NAMC)*** member and participate in-person at the Innovation Combine. Any company that is unable or unwilling to become a NAMC*** member and attend the Innovation Combine will not be eligible for any future awards. In the event a selected company is unable or unwilling to become a NAMC member, the Government may select an alternate company from the white paper responses provided in Phase I.
Please refer to section “VIII. Proposed Schedule” for prototype* project proposal submission timelines.
The Government will evaluate all prototype* project proposals in accordance with established evaluation criteria, which will be provided in the RPP.
Prototype* project proposal and quad chart submissions must adhere to the following requirements:
•Prototype* project proposal and quad chart submissions that do not address one (1) of the problem statements above or does not fit the definition of a prototype* project will not be considered for this effort and the Innovation Combine.
•All quad chart submissions must be marked for public release and will be used to share your company and technology information with AUSA Futures Conference attendees, potential commercial partners, and Government stakeholders.
•All prototype* projects proposal and quad chart submissions must be received by 3:00 PM ET on the anticipated dates provided in Section VIII of this notice. Prototype* project proposal and quad chart submissions received after the deadline may not be considered.
Phase III – Presentations
In Phase III, the eight (8) selected companies will present their prototype* project live** to a panel of Army subject matter experts (SME), which will include a questions and answers session.
Eight (8) selected companies will be required to submit a presentation. Details of presentation submission will be outlined in the RPP, provided during Phase II. The eight (8) selected companies will conduct a live**, in-person presentation, to include a questions and answers session, to a panel of Army SMEs at the Innovation Combine. Company presentations will be held live** at the Innovation Combine to an open forum of registered AUSA Futures Conference attendees that may include Government, industry, and academia attendees. Project representatives will present their prototype* project(s) and team ability. Each company will have up to ten (10) minutes to present, followed by up to ten (10) minutes for questions and answers with the Army panel of SMEs.
The Government will evaluate all live** presentations in accordance with established evaluation criteria, which will be provided in the RPP.
Presentation submissions must adhere to the following requirements:
•Presentation submissions that are not consistent with the white paper/proposal response, do not address one (1) of the problem statements above, or does not fit the definition of a prototype* project will not be considered for the Innovation Combine.
•Presentations must be marked for public release in order to be eligible for briefing at the Innovation Combine to an open forum of registered AUSA Futures Conference attendees that may include Government, industry, and academia attendees.
The RPP will outline presentation submission date. Presentation submissions received after the deadline may not be considered for the Innovation Combine.
Upon conclusion of the eight (8) presentations, the Government will select up to two (2) projects as the most highly rated prototype* projects for a pre-award, as based on the Government’s evaluation of proposals and presentations. The two (2) projects selected for a pre-award under the GVS OTA will be required to sign and execute a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) during the evening of 24 June 2020. Furthermore, the two (2) projects selected for award under the GVS OTA will also receive an additional prize award of $45,000 each. Following the Innovation Combine, the selected projects will enter into negotiations with the Government with anticipated final agreement award(s) within 60 days of conclusion of the AUSA Futures Conference (duration is subject to change based on negotiations).
The six (6) projects not selected as the most highly rated prototype* projects will receive an additional prize award of $15,000 each only.
Detailed feedback will be provided to all projects at the end of Phase I – RWP. Detailed feedback will be provided to all projects at the end of Phase II – RPP upon request. Detailed feedback will be provided to all projects at the end of Phase III – Presentations upon request. The purpose of providing feedback is to help accelerate transition of the technology to an Army user by providing insight on best applications for the technology within the Army, suggestions for product improvement for Army use, and recommended next steps for development. The Government will not be obligated to respond to questions or inquiries regarding the provided feedback.
Prizes & Incentives
Prizes will be offered under 10 USC 2374A (prize competitions). The total prize award pool is $320,000. The prototype* project pre-awards and awards will be offered under 10 USC 2371b, utilizing the GVS OTA. The total GVS OTA award pool is $600,000. Other non-monetary incentives are provided through the Innovation Combine program to help small business engage, and stay engaged with the Army.
Points of Contact
Phase I - RWP: The xTech Vector Team
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army, Research and Technology
Phase II – RPP & Phase III – Presentations: The GVS OTA Team
Army Contracting Command (ACC) – Detroit Arsenal
Emails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com