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Human Performance Optimization


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Bio Medical, Sensors, Human Systems 


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this topic is to develop innovative technologies that enhance physiological, physical, psychological, and intellectual performance, and improve resistance to disease, stress, or injury caused by the demands of sustained operations in extreme environments. 


DESCRIPTION: The optimization of Special Operations Forces (SOF) operator’s ability to perform at very high levels for long durations, process information and make the right decisions in a timely manner, while operating in extreme environments, including temperature ranges, high altitude, maritime/subsurface environments under high levels of stress will significantly improve their operational effectiveness. As a part of this feasibility study, the proposers shall address all viable system design options with respective specifications, capabilities, or technologies on the key system attributes: • Increase peak performance sustainability, including increased endurance, strength, energy, agility, and enhanced senses • Reduce recovery time • Enhance tolerance to environmental extremes or the ability to rapidly acclimatize to environmental extremes • Enhancing metabolic efficiency • Improve oxygen delivery to muscles • Provide restorative effects of sleep • Reduce the potential for musculoskeletal injury USSOCOM would like organizations to consider pursuing novel ideas that provide leap ahead capabilities for human performance optimization that are safe for human use and effective. By leap ahead we are referring to capabilities that provide a sudden significant advantage or breakthrough in increasing human performance. Some examples of novel research areas are: • Genomics • Epigenetics • Proteomics • Synthetic biology • Neurological analysis and stimulation • Nutraceuticals • Pharmaceuticals 


PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to assess what is in the art of the possible that satisfies the requirements specified in the above paragraph entitled “Description.” The objective of this USSOCOM Phase I SBIR effort is to conduct and document the results of a thorough feasibility study to investigate what is in the art of the possible within the given trade space that will satisfy a needed technology. The feasibility study should investigate all known options that meet or exceed the minimum performance parameters specified in this write up. It should also address the risks and potential payoffs of the innovative technology options that are investigated and recommend the option that best achieves the objective of this technology pursuit. The funds obligated on the resulting Phase I SBIR contracts are to be used for the sole purpose of conducting a thorough feasibility study using scientific experiments and laboratory studies as necessary. Operational prototypes will not be developed with USSOCOM SBIR funds during Phase I feasibility studies. Operational prototypes developed with other than SBIR funds that are provided at the end of Phase I feasibility studies will not be considered in deciding what firm(s) will be selected for Phase II. PHASE II: Develop, install, and demonstrate a prototype system determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study on a human performance optimization. 


PHASE II: Develop, install, and demonstrate a prototype system determined to be the most feasible solution during the Phase I feasibility study on a human performance optimization. 


PHASE III: This system could be used in a broad range of military applications where peak performance in environmental extremes is required. Other applications include professional firefighters, law enforcement, and sports. 



1: "Effects of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood ketone, glucose, triglyceride, and lipoprotein levels in Sprague–Dawley rats", 04 Feb 2016;

2:  "Nutritional Ketosis Affects Metabolism and Behavior in Sprague-Dawley Rats in Both Control and Chronic Stress Environments", 15 May 2017;

3:  "Metformin improves performance in high-intensity exercise, but not anaerobic capacity in healthy male subjects", Oct 2015;

4:  "Exercise-induced modification of the skeletal muscle transcriptome in Arabian horses", 01 Jun 2017;

5:  "The ACE gene and human performance: 12 years on", 01 Jun 2011,

6:  "Role of NADH/NAD+ transport activity and glycogen store on skeletal muscle energy metabolism during exercise: In silico studies", Jan 2009;

7:  "Loss of NAD Homeostasis Leads to Progressive and Reversible Degeneration of Skeletal Muscle"; 09 Aug 2016,

8:  "Enhancing cognitive performance with repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation at human individual alpha frequency", 17 Mar 2003;



KEYWORDS: Human Performance Optimization And Sustainment, Peak Performance, And Environmental Extremes 


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