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Army to award up to $2.6 million for data-wiping technologies

Published: 05/30/2023

By Daniel Smoot, Office of Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program

WASHINGTON – Protecting the Army’s proprietary information is a key requirement of its data-wiping technology solicitation – an investment that seeks cost-effective solutions that can prevent adversaries from extracting important data from U.S. military hardware.

The Army Applied Small Business Innovation Research Program is requesting small businesses to develop technologies for the digital erasure of sensitive field-programmable gate array systems. With the steady increase of autonomous vehicles and devices emerging across operations, the Army aims to implement advanced techniques that prevent reverse-engineering of technologies in abandoned or single-use military equipment.

“Systems made with reconfigurable logic hardware such as FPGAS can be completely erased to protect sensitive designs and information,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and the Army Applied SBIR Program. “These technologies have the dual-benefit of simpler human intervention – ultimately enabling warfighters to better focus on operational priorities.”

For the project, the Army will assess capabilities such as trigger mechanisms that can automatically activate and successfully delete information – as well as conformability for use across different components and interfaces.

Contract awards up to $2.6 million

Through the solicitation, up to two businesses will receive Army SBIR Direct to Phase II contract awards up to $1.3 million each to develop novel digital erasure of sensitive field-programmable gate array systems.

Over the anticipated 24-month period of performance, awardees will gain critical access to Soldier touchpoints that provide developmental and evaluation-based feedback on solutions during prototyping.

The solicitation enters pre-release on May 30 and concludes on June 13. Qualified small businesses can submit proposals between June 14 and July 18, noon Eastern time. Applicants must submit full proposal packages through the Defense SBIR|STTR Innovation Portal.

The Army Applied SBIR Program awards Phase I contracts to small businesses and nontraditional vendors whose solutions offer technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential. The program awards Phase II contracts to companies that can address Army needs and gain further federal support. Direct to Phase II awards are allocated to already mature technologies ready for demonstration.

Small businesses awardees can engage with technical, acquisition and operational subject-matter experts. These specialists offer information regarding the Army’s technological needs and guidance from the Army research and development ecosystem. Companies capitalize on this by collaborating with technical points of contact who serve as a resource for businesses while they mature their technologies for eventual insertion into Army acquisition programs.

The Army Applied SBIR Program releases contract opportunities ad hoc to respond to current and anticipated warfighting technology needs. For eligibility information and a list of open topics, please visit the Army Applied SBIR Web page.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology leverages technologies and capabilities to provide U.S. Soldiers a decisive advantage in any environment by developing, acquiring, fielding and sustaining the world’s finest equipment and services. For more information, visit the ASA(ALT) web page and follow @ArmyASAALT.


Army to award up to $2.6 million for data-wiping technologies

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