By Daniel Smoot, Office for Army Prize Competitions and Army Applied SBIR Program
Reducing the Army’s carbon footprint is at the center of its open, sustainable building materials solicitation — an effort that seeks small businesses developing environmentally friendly construction solutions to meet the goals of the Department of Defense Climate Adaptation Plan and Army Climate Strategy.
While the open-topic solicitation will accept a variety of proposals that help reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions, solutions that prioritize sustainable materials such as precast concrete and recycled steel, low-logistics construction applications and the support of long-lasting, infrastructure technologies are at the forefront of the Army’s $13.3 million investment.
“With the continued release of open-topic solicitations, we hope to attract valuable innovations from small businesses that do not typically compete for SBIR awards,” said Dr. Matt Willis, director of Army Prize Competitions and the Army Applied SBIR Program. “At the same time, these novel companies could address the carbon-intensive aspect of military operations through disruptive materials, logistics and technologies.”
The Army will assess small businesses that submit proposals for sustainable building materials and technologies based on the following criteria:
* Utilization of local materials
* Materials made from renewable or recycled sources
* Scalable to meet construction needs
* Low-energy requirements
* Carbon capture capabilities
Up to $13.3 million in total Army funding
Through the clean tech solicitation, up to 15 companies will receive Phase I Army SBIR awards of up to $250,000 each to develop and deliver sustainable building materials and technologies.
Over the anticipated six-month period of performance, Phase I awardees will secure access to Soldier touchpoints that offer developmental and evaluation-based feedback on technologies in practical settings.
Additionally, Army SBIR will award up to five companies Direct to Phase II contracts, up to $1.9 million over an expected 18-month period of performance. During this time, small businesses will advance research and development efforts for eventual prototyping.
The solicitation begins pre-release on April 25 and lasts through May 17. Qualified small businesses can submit proposals between May 18 and June 13, with submissions closing at noon Eastern Time on June 13. 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 companies with technologies that show technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential. It gives Phase II awards to those that can address Army needs and gain further federal support. Direct to Phase II awards are for technologies already mature and ready for demonstration.
Small businesses can coordinate with technical, acquisition and operational subject-matter experts. These specialists provide information about 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 that serve as resources for businesses as they mature their technologies for eventual insertion into Army acquisition programs.
The Army Applied SBIR Program releases contract opportunities on a flexible schedule to respond to the current and anticipated warfighting technology needs. For eligibility information and a list of open topics, please visit armysbir.army.mil.
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 army.mil/asaalt and follow @ArmyASAALT.