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Army seeks small-business innovation in SMART sensors and material-readiness

Published: 08/24/2022

The U.S. Army is looking for small-business innovations in air platform engineering, electronic materials and wearable sensors that can provide critical solutions for the U.S. Soldier.

For the first time, the Army Applied Small Business Innovation Research Program released an open-topic Phase I contract opportunity, with awards up to $150,000 and 90 days in duration, for companies to submit their innovative solutions in new wearable technologies to address current and future Army needs.

“Innovative small businesses have enormous untapped potential that could help the Army develop and transition solutions to our Soldiers,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. “Wearable technology innovation in the private sector is outpacing research and development across the Army ecosystem, so by giving small and non-traditional businesses the opportunity to propose their novel solutions in this area, we can leverage their innovation to provide new capabilities to enhance Soldier readiness and sustainability.”

The program also released a Direct to Phase II contract opportunity with awards up to $1.7 million and 24 months in duration, and another Phase I contract opportunity with awards up to $250,000 and six months in duration. These new opportunities include:

  • Integrated Tactical Vehicle Recorder (Direct to Phase II): Develop a data capture and recording of telemetry and system data in support of tactical platforms during live training.
  • Lightweight, Reconfigurable UH-60 Floor (Phase I): Develop and demonstrate a replacement armored floor for the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter that provides the mission configuration flexibility of the current set up but is permanently installed on the airframe.
  • Wearable Technologies for Physiological Monitoring (Phase I, open topic): Demonstrate a wearable device that senses, collects and monitors real-time physiological data to assess aspects of Soldier operational health and readiness.

The Army Applied SBIR Program offers a valuable opportunity for small businesses to interact with Soldiers and technical/operational subject matter experts, who provide insight into technology needs and guide small businesses through the Army research and development ecosystem. Small businesses are teamed up with technical points of contact, who serve as resources for companies as they mature their technologies for insertion into Army programs of record.

“The Army rotorcraft continues to get heavier as we add capability and survivability equipment to support multi-domain operations, so the Army needs innovative technologies that combine systems, save weight and reduce our logistics footprint,” said Elisha Screws, chief of field support branch for Program Executive Office Aviation and technical point of contact for one of the topics. “Over the years commercial aviation has incorporated innovative rails and structures that are lighter and provide more flexibility to remove and install configurations as needed to support different missions. If successful, this effort will combine floor structure, seat pallets and armor into one floor system while also modernizing armor technology and saving weight.”

The pre-release period for the new topics was Aug.11-22. During this time, companies can submit questions to the Defense SBIR/STTR Innovation Portal and via email. Companies are also permitted to submit technical questions through Sept. 13, but they must be submitted through the DSIP Portal (not via email). Qualified small businesses can submit proposals from Aug. 23-Sept. 27 at noon EDT. Full proposal packages must be submitted through the DSIP Portal. Additional information, including eligibility information and how to apply, can be found on the Army SBIR|STTR 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. For more information, go to


Army seeks small-business innovation in SMART sensors and material-readiness

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