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Army to offer up to $3.8 million for mixed-reality displays

Published: 08/08/2023
SBIR Mixed Reality Systems

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

WASHINGTON – Enhanced training and tactical awareness are essential in the U.S. Army’s latest immersive and wearables solicitation – a potential $3.8 million investment in low-cost, head-mounted, high-performance augmented reality devices for Soldiers operating across battlefield operations.

Beginning Aug. 24, the Army SBIR Program asks small and nontraditional businesses to submit proposals for Medium-Format Displays for Mixed Reality Systems. These technologies will increase the Army’s effectiveness through smaller, tactical devices capable of providing training, strategic data, and improved visibility in combat and non-combat environments.

“Leveraging simulations, AR/MR capabilities can enhance Soldier safety by providing timely information on tactics, techniques and procedures,” said Paul Reid, the Army SBIR Program’s immersive and wearables, and sensors portfolio manager. “AR/MR technologies are versatile, and their use-cases extend from target detection and mapping, to enhanced vision and situational awareness.”

To select eligible small businesses for this solicitation, the Army will evaluate solution proposals for size and imaging capabilities in complex conditions and challenging environments. Mixed-reality display systems must also be affordable for broader use among Soldier units.

Up to $3.8 million in Direct and Sequential Phase II funding

The Army Small Business Innovation Research program will award one Army SBIR Direct to Phase II contract worth up to $1.9 million to the company with a selected proposal. This firm can also earn an Army Phase II Sequential contract up to $1.9 million.

As part of the total potential award of $3.8 million, the Army will provide the selected business with the opportunity to coordinate with Army subject matter experts for technical feedback and prototyping guidance over the two 24-month performance periods.

The solicitation enters pre-release on Aug. 8 and ends Aug. 23. Qualified small businesses can submit proposals between Aug. 24 and Sept. 26, noon Eastern time. Applicants must submit 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 and Direct to Phase II contracts to companies that can address Army needs and garner increased federal support to mature demonstration-ready technologies.

Small business selectees gain valuable access to technical, acquisition and operational subject matter experts. These specialists offer guidance and information on the Army’s technological needs as the small businesses enter the Army research and development ecosystem. Companies can capitalize on 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 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 SBIR|STTR website.

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.

SBIR Mixed Reality Systems

Army to offer up to $3.8 million for mixed-reality displays

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