USSOCOM Innovation Foundry

Technology Challenge

USSOCOM-Time

We believe entrepreneurs have the power to change the world. Help us discover the most promising startups and creators that are poised to change the world with USSOCOM. After reading the Prize Challenge details, apply below. Applicants will be selected and awarded honorariums to attend the USSOCOM Innovation Foundry Summit at Capital Factory in April of 2019. For questions regarding the Summit, please contact Sean Duffy at seanduffy@capitalfactory.com.

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WHAT IS A PRIZE CHALLENGE?

A Prize Challenge is a conceptualized essay-written event, created by a "Seeker", United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), where participants, the "Solvers", provide an answer or solution to a Prize Challenge question or concept ideation. Solvers, will attempt to solve a future task and/or a current physical/mechanical/conceptual limitation and provide a 3-5 page essay, based off of preset evaluation guidelines and their research, to answer the Prize Challenge question. Essays will be ranked against each other and inputted into an Order of Merit (OML) placement. USSOCOM will review and analyze the essays and award set rewards, once the event is closed.

Summary

SOCOM is interested in what lies ahead for the world 10 years from now, and what challenges or opportunities will be presented to Special Operations Forces (SOF). We are interested in the impacts of technological innovation in the civilian society within the Texas Technology Ecosystem. What new or evolved technology will have the greatest impact, either as a challenge or as an opportunity, for SOF in 2029? How is daily life for humans around the world going to differ from today? What innovations will industry invent, which will shape society 10 years from now? How will technologies become disruptive by themselves or converged with other technologies? What are the Diplomatic, Information, Military and Economic (DIME) actions and their Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, and Infrastructure (PMESII) effects created by this technological evolution? We want to know how you see the world in 2029 and the critical impacts it might pose for SOF.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award.

Awards

Up to ten papers will be selected for a $1,000 prize and for the development of a more detailed paper providing supporting details to the summary. Awardees will also be invited to an Innovation Foundry 3.0 (IF3) workshop in Austin, Texas, to participate in a face-to-face collaboration event with current SOF Operators, to develop potential technological concepts to face a SOF SR mission, based off a fictional Future Operating Environment (FOE). Upon attending and participating in this Design Thinking event, each awardee will be given an additional $1500. Travel expenses will not be provided.

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award. The awards will be paid to the best submissions (minimum of 5, but potential for 10) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout could be $25,000, with each potential individual Solver award being $2,500 in total to be paid out as follows:
    • $1000 will be paid to the top 5-10 papers submitted to this Challenge.
    • $1500 more will be paid after that awardee has presented their ideas at the IF3 Workshop to be held in a TBD date. (Note: Solvers will be attending at their own expense.)

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on Mar 8, 2019. Late submissions will not be considered.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

The Challenge

We are seeking your help by submitting a short summary paper (American Psychological Association (APA) Format, up to 2-5 pages total) describing any technology, how it will be proliferated and the basis for your position. The technology can be an advancement of an existing technology that exists today or a new technology that does not exist today. You should show how this technology will affect the world 10 years from now and what challenges and or opportunities it might present for Special Operation Forces at that time. Your solutions should at a minimum answer the following questions (not necessarily in order):

  1. What technology lies ahead for the world 10 years from now, and what challenges or opportunities will be presented to SOF.
  2. What are the impacts of technological innovation in the civilian society around the globe?
  3. What new or evolved technology will have the greatest impact, either as a challenge and/or as an opportunity, for SOF in 2029?
  4. How is daily life for humans around the world going to differ from today?
  5. What innovations will industry invent, that will shape society l 0 years from now?
  6. How will technologies become disruptive by themselves or converged with other technologies?
  7. What are the PMESII effects created by this technological evolution?
  8. How do you see the world in 2029 and the critical impacts it might pose for SOF?

Things to avoid:

  1. The Seeker is not looking for a review article on the subject of futuristic predictions. Your submission needs to be about a possible technology based on facts and current research and not a summary of all speculations that exist.
  2. The Seeker is not interested in pointing towards 3rd party ideas. They want your thoughts and not to just point out someone else's. You can use others as references, but the bulk should be your own thoughts.

The Solvers essay will be evaluated based on:

  1. Impact
  2. Rationale and References
  3. Feasibility

Evaluation Criteria:

  1. Impact of Proposed Technology
    1. What is the degree of the impacts and effects, whether as challenges or opportunities, of the proposed technology?
  2. Novelty of Proposed Technology
    1. How novel and creative is the proposed technology? Are the problems or opportunities being proposed already being addressed by some organization?
  3. Novelty of the Technology's Impacts to SOF
    1. What is the novelty of the effects to SOF? Have the same effects (challenges or opportunities) already been addressed by previous technological evolutions?
  4. Feasibility/ Referenced Bases for Proposal
    1. Does the proposal present a strong case with a variety of references to support the proposed technology and its impacts?
    2. How feasible and likely are the proposed technology and effects?
  5. Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Problem
    1. Does the proposal approach the challenge from multiple disciplines or does it present a more 1-dimensional perspective? (multi- is preferred)

Project Deliverables

The Ideation paper should include all of the following:

  1. Identification and Detailed Description of a technology that will have an impact on SOF as a challenge and/or opportunity 10 years in the future.
  2. Technical rationale as to why the Solver believes that the proposed technology will have such an impact and should be supported with relevant examples and literature.
  3. The discussion should include answers for those questions posted above at a minimum.
  4. Include current references and reference ongoing research that backs up your claims. This will be very important in evaluation.
  5. Note: This is expected to be a 2-3 page summary paper (5 pages maximum) of the subject matter. Awardees that are invited to IF3 are expected develop their ideas further and add more rigor to their arguments before the Workshop.