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Open Topic for Persistent Experimentation


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Human-Machine Interfaces


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.


OBJECTIVE: The U.S. Army is seeking novel, disruptive concepts and technology solutions with dual-use capabilities that can assist in tackling the Army’s current needs and address future Army concepts. There are multiple Army experimentation/demonstration events throughout each year. Army Futures Command (AFC) has developed this single SBIR topic to streamline and facilitate path forward opportunities for small businesses participating in these events. The consolidated approach enhances the Army’s ability to identify, experiment, rapidly evolve, and deliver transformative technology solutions to address both urgent and emerging threats and expedite critical capabilities to the field to meet Combatant Commanders’ needs and operational challenges near, mid, and far term.


DESCRIPTION: The U.S. Army would like to invite eligible small businesses to submit innovative technology solutions that address Army needs with the potential to evolve under a Persistent Experimentation (PE) approach. The intent is to explore, test, refine and advance technology solutions and associated requirements documents as an industry-government team, experimenting iteratively in operationally relevant environments and with soldier touchpoints throughout the Army systems’ R&D, transition, and acquisition life cycle.


If selected, participation at one or more of the Army’s PE events (e.g., Technology Gateway, Human Machine Integration Summits, Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment, Capstone events – see Appendices) or other relevant experimentation venues or programs is strongly encouraged throughout award phases to mature and test the technology.


As noted above and in Appendix E, specific technology/capability focus areas of interest will be announced periodically as associated with key experimentation events. Proposals should include noted interest/intent to participate in an active experimentation/demonstration event and/or evidence of prior participation or selection for participation at an event (see Appendix F). Clear alignment with the specific experimentation event and/or potential sponsor should be documented. The Government program manager/team will be available to assist in coordination and participation in future events . Proposals should account for event participation and travel in proposed/estimated budgets.


Prime Collaborations: Partnerships or teaming with a technology integrator is permitted and encouraged where it leverages complimentary resources to bring forward innovative technology solutions for experimentation and to streamline potential follow-on transition paths. A technology integrator is defined herein as “any business outside of the selected small business, who has directly worked with the U.S. government. They have experience managing at least one subcontractor and are responsible for ensuring that the work is completed as defined in the contract, this can include but is not limited to, other small businesses, Primes, and sole proprietors.” 


Dual-Use Collaborations: Advanced partnership or teaming with a commercial and/or private capital entity is permitted and encouraged where it leverages complimentary resources to bring forward innovative technology solutions for experimentation and/or scaling via commercial markets to streamline potential follow-on transition.


PHASE I: Only Direct to Phase II (DP2) proposals will be accepted for this solicitation. DP2 proposals must provide documentation to substantiate/validate that the scientific and technical merit and feasibility are met, and the proposals must describe potential commercial applications of the solution. DP2 proposals should clearly indicate how a validated proof-of-concept design, as typically shown in Phase I awards, will be refined/advanced to an initial prototype/model/system under a DP2 award. If prior participation and/or technical reviews exist for an applicable government experimentation/demonstration event, please include as substantiating documentation.DIRECT TO PHASE II:


Direct to Phase II (DP2) awards are expected to produce a prototype solution ready for initial field demonstration, testing and/or operation by a Soldier (see Appendices E and F for technical focus areas associated with this topic). Final DP2 prototypes should be capable of or have a plan for integration with existing Army systems and/or newly developed systems. Companies are strongly encouraged to demonstrate prototype solutions in conjunction with one/or more experimentation/demonstration events validated by the Government team. These events are intended to provide government stakeholder and/or user/Soldier feedback.


In addition, DP2 awardees are expected to deliver a technology transition and commercialization plan for DOD and commercial markets as part of their final deliverable package. Awardees may also be eligible for Sequential Phase II awards or Phase II Enhancements after completion of Phase II period of performance. Phase II can extend the work with additional funding and additional matching opportunities to finish building out solutions at the stakeholders’ discretion

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Complete the maturation of the company’s technology developed in Phase II to TRL 6/7 and produce prototypes to support further development and commercialization. The Army will assess each product in a realistic field environment and provide solutions to stakeholders for further assessment.



  1. U.S. Army on HMI Formations – link
  2. U.S. Army priorities - Army of 2030


KEYWORDS: Human-Machine Integration (HMI); Human-Machine Teaming (HMT); autonomy; artificial intelligence; AI/ML; logistics; ground systems; air systems; robotics; UAS; RAS; sensors; persistent sensing; zero trust; common controller; common architecture; Electromagnetic Warfare (EW)

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