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Army announces material-readiness contracts for small-business solutions

Published: 11/28/2022

By Mikol Cobb, Office of Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army is looking for the most innovative small-business technologies to develop and deliver material-readiness solutions that ensure globally dominant land force capabilities.

The Army Applied Small Business Innovation Research Program released three Phase I contract opportunities in materials technologies — with awards up to $250,000 and 6-12 months in duration — for U.S.-based small businesses to develop new and innovative warfighting solutions. The topics include:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning for Nitramine Recrystallization and Coating: The Army seeks to develop a suite of probe technology and machine learning algorithms that can reduce costs and increase product consistency throughout the energetics manufacturing process.
  • Non-Hydrofluorocarbons-Based Fire Extinguishing: To protect Soldiers and their equipment, the Army needs to implement a non-hydrofluorocarbon-based agent or system into existing ground-vehicle crew automatic fire-extinguishing systems.
  • Non-Refrigerant-Based System for Cabin Cooling​: In support of the Army Climate Strategy, and the service’s goal to reduce the production and import of hydrofluorocarbons to 15 percent of the current levels by 2036, the Army is seeking a non-refrigerant-based, low global-warming potential hydrofluorocarbons hydrofluoroolefin-free cooling system for cabin areas and/or electronics.

“The Army would like to see AI/ML software developed specifically for manufacturing probe technology,” said Rajen Patel, an engineer with the U.S. Army DEVCOM Ground Vehicle Systems Center and technical point of contact for one of the SBIR topics. “We believe small businesses would have the organizational flexibility to address the complex requirements of developing the AI/ML techniques and the probes to meet the Army needs.”

Once the companies are selected, the new Army SBIR Contracting Center of Excellence will execute contracts that will make it easier and faster for companies to work with the Army. The contracting CoE is dedicated to awarding, administering, and closing out all SBIR Phase I and Phase II contracts under one centralized office. This streamlined contracting process will help the Army rapidly respond to needs across labs and acquisition offices. It will also improve the pace of funding for small businesses planning to work with the Army.

“We are curating our problem sets directly from our Army customers and transition partners,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army prize competitions and the Army Applied SBIR Program in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. “We need to make sure the Soldier has the most innovative Army installations and strategic power capabilities, and with the help of the Army SBIR contracting CoE, we can be quicker and more responsive to turn over game-changing small-business innovations to the Soldier.”

The pre-release period for the new topics is November 17-29, 2022. During this time, companies can submit questions through email, or the Defense SBIR/STTR Innovation Portal. Qualified small businesses can submit proposals beginning November 30, 2022, and ending January 3, 2023, at noon Eastern Time. Full proposal packages must be submitted through the DSIP Portal.

The Army Applied SBIR Program offers a valuable opportunity for small businesses to interact with technical, acquisition and 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 a resource for companies as they mature their technologies for insertion into Army acquisition programs. Additionally, the program’s flexibility and timeliness in responding to the Army’s emerging technology needs maximize the initial cash flow for small businesses while minimizing the time to contract.

The Army Applied SBIR Program releases contract opportunities on a rolling basis to respond to the Army’s current and anticipated warfighting technology needs. For a list of open topics and eligibility information, visit

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 announces material-readiness contracts for small-business solutions

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