The Army has announced a technology competition to encourage engagement with small businesses and start-ups.

The Expeditionary Technology Search (xTechSearch) will offer prizes for innovative technologies, increasing awards per round from $1,000 to $200,000 with a total prize pool of $1.95 million.

“Our Army of the future must be ready to deploy, fight and win decisively against any adversary, anytime and anywhere, in a joint, multidomain, high-intensity conflict, while simultaneously deterring others and maintaining its ability to conduct irregular warfare,” said Dr. Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, who launched the program.

The xTechSearch competition is part of the Army’s push toward technology modernization. In 2017 the Army outlined six modernization priorities: long-range precision fires; next-generation combat vehicles; future vertical-lift platforms; Army network, including network command, control, communications and intelligence and position navigation; air- and missile-defense capabilities; and soldier lethality.

The competition will take place in four phases over 10 months. In the first phase, small businesses and start-ups are asked to submit a white paper about their technology proposal. Challenge participants can pitch either a new application of existing technology or a new technology concept.

Proposals will be scored on team experience and ability, scientific and engineering viability and potential impact for revolutionizing the Army.

In the following phases, finalists are invited to pitch their technology in person, first at locations around the country and finally in Washington, D.C.

The deadline for proposal submissions is July 11, 2018, and the last phase, where finalists will participate in a capstone demonstration with senior Army leadership, is scheduled for April 2019.