USSOCOM Innovation Foundry (IF11) Event

14-16 December 2022

Submissions Closed 12 August 11:59 PM ET


SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T), will host the eleventh Innovation Foundry (IF11) Event, where S&T Futures seeks to bring together U.S. and International Special Operations Forces (SOF), Industry, Academia, Government, and futurists in an exploration, design thinking, facilitated event to assist USSOCOM in decomposing future scenarios and missions.

The theme of IF11 will be “SOF Operations in a World of Omnipresent Sensor Networks.” The goal of the event is to develop concepts and approaches for the framework, technologies, infrastructure, and capabilities required to effectively conduct SOF operations in a world where omnipresent sensors track people, organizations, vehicles, and systems throughout their lives, at home and around the world in both the physical and virtual realms. In this effort, S&T Futures will be working with international S&T liaisons, USSOCOM staff, the USSOCOM Next-Generation Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Tactically Relevant Situational Awareness (NGISR/SA) Capability Focus Area (CFA), and Joint Staff Intelligence (J2).

To ground the discussion, IF11 participants will use a fictional mission scenario that reflects the future operating environment with omnipresent sensor networks that are part of the civilian infrastructure. This scenario will also consider the potential for additional sensor networks emplaced by military and intelligence organizations who may be friendly, neutral, or adversaries. Participants will emphasize the opportunities and challenges related to these sensor networks and their resultant information products, reflecting the complex interplays of social, technological, political, and cultural factors as they might play out in the 2035 timeframe.

Why You Should Participate
The event will be a compelling opportunity for leading minds in Industry, Academia, Labs, and Government, as well as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in sensor design and development, Radio Frequency (RF) technologies, Low Probability of Intercept/Low Probability of Detection (LPI/LPD) solutions, data analysis, data visualization, communications technologies, networking, autonomous systems, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, situational awareness, social and behavioral sciences, and SOF Operations to ideate, collaborate, and develop concepts for the future needs of SOF. USSOCOM has also used Innovation Foundries to build key relationships with local and regional entrepreneurs and technology developers.

Problem Statement
How do we move from traditional ISR platforms and sensors to future state-of-the-art methods to understand and conduct operations in this future environment, considering both offensive and defensive perspectives? How can we collect, analyze, and disseminate data, as well as effectively use the resulting product(s) to operate in a contested/constrained environment?

IF11 participants will develop concepts for future SOF missions, addressing situational awareness and signature management, as well as related questions including maneuverability, operations, effects, and countermeasures in a world of omnipresent sensors.

“The scenarios were sophisticated and intentionally difficult in order to drive new and creative approaches to the problem sets.” — RDML Rodriguez (NSWC Deputy), IF3

Event Timeline
Completed Phase 1 – 19 July 2022 to 12 August 2022 Submissions Open: Sensor design and development, RF technologies, LPI/LPD solutions, data analysis, data visualization, communications technologies, networking, autonomous systems, robotics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, situational awareness, social and behavioral sciences, and SOF Operations SMEs, futurists and visionaries from Industry, Academia, and National Labs are encouraged to participate in the IF11 Event by submitting a CV (Curriculum Vitae) below NLT 12 August.

Completed Phase 2 – 15 August 2022 to 19 August 2022 SME Review: The S&T Directorate Future’s Team will review SME submissions and notify SOFWERX of invited participants. SOFWERX will notify participants of their attendance status o/a 22 August. 

Completed Phase 3 – 14 December 2022 to 16 December 2022 Innovation Foundry 11 Event: During the event, selected participants will collaborate and ideate with fellow SMEs, the S&T Directorate Future’s Team, and U.S. and International SOF Operators on the concept areas above. Selectees should plan for workdays from 0800-1700 ET.

This event will be held in person at SOFWERX. 

Phase 4 – Path Forward: Successfully negotiated awards may fall under any combination of these categories:

  • Business to business research and development agreement as a sub-award through the SOFWERX Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) (15 U.S. Code Section 3715)
  • OTA for research or prototype projects (10 U.S. Code Sections 4021, 4022)
    • An award under 10 U. S. Code, Section 4022 may result in the further award of a follow-on production agreement without additional competition based on successful prototype completion. The Government may make this follow-on production award even if all successful prototype criteria are not fully met during the prototype project.
  • Procurement for experimental purposes (10 U.S. Code Section 4023)
  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (15 U.S. Code Section 3710a)
  • Prizes for advanced technology achievements (10 U. S. Code Section 4025) and/or prize competitions (15 U.S. Code 3719)
  • FAR-based procurement contract 
  • Awardees may need to be compliant with NIST SP 800-171, Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) in Non-Federal Systems and Organizations

For event-related questions, please contact Gabby Robles,