Autonomous Interoperability Standards Development Event

07-09 December 2021

Submissions Closed 29 October 11:59 PM ET


SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM’s Directorate of Science and Technology (S&T) and Naval Special Warfare (NSW), will host the Autonomous Interoperability Standards Development Event. In the Human Machine Teaming Aspects of Mission command, the objective is to bring together Special Operations Forces (SOF) representatives and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to assist USSOCOM in discerning the future of Autonomous Interoperability for Unmanned Air, Ground, Surface, and Underwater Systems (UxS). Focus areas will include but are not limited to sensors, communications, and platforms. 

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 in UxS and Manned-Unmanned Teaming (MUM-T) capabilities to ideate, collaborate, and improve the investment decision making for the future needs of SOF. USSOCOM has also used similar efforts to build key relationships with local and regional entrepreneurs and technology developers.

Interoperability has been a long-standing goal for autonomous systems, and we recognize that there have been several past and current efforts in Government and Industry to achieve this goal. One of the objectives of this Autonomous Interoperability Event is to identify current and future initiatives related to interoperability, and to make connections with the people and organizations involved in these efforts. By sharing our knowledge and efforts, we can reduce duplicated effort and increase efficiency, and enable USSOCOM S&T and our partners at SOFWERX and NSW to get closer to our vision of functional autonomous interoperability for SOF missions.

Problem Statement
NSW has developed a vision for the future whose key elements include next generation UxS and autonomy solutions, and interoperable maritime and air assets. To do this effectively, NSW needs interoperability standards for the heterogeneous UxS platforms that they will use now and in the future. USSOCOM thus needs to develop and implement a set of interoperability standards that are not cumbersome, that are flexible, and that will support new technologies. They will also need to provide enough freedom for companies to use their creative approaches but with well-defined interfaces, messaging, communications, navigation, and control systems. Further, the backing of NSW and USSOCOM should provide an incentive for commercial players to rally around the new standards. This effort will support agility, wider government and commercial participation and ensure cost-effective development.

Event Timeline
Completed Phase 1 – 15 October 2021 to 29 October 2021 Submissions Open: UxS and MUM-T Subject Matter Experts and visionaries from Industry, Academia, and National Labs request to attend the Autonomous Interoperability Standards Development Event by submitting a CV below (NLT 29 October).

Completed Phase 2 – 30 October 2021 to 04 November 2021 SME Downselect: The S&T Directorate Futures Team and NSW will downselect participants to attend the Autonomous Interoperability Standards Development Event. Selected participants will be notified via e-mail o/a 12 November.

Completed Phase 3 – 07 December 2021 to 09 December 2021 Autonomous Interoperability Standards Development Event: During the event, selected participants will collaborate and ideate with fellow SMEs, the S&T Directorate Futures Team, NSW, and SOF Operators on the concept areas above. Selectees should plan for workdays from 0800-1700 ET.

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

  • Other Transaction Agreements under 10 U.S. Code, Section 2371 or 2371b* (prototyping/production follow-on)
  • Procurement contract for experimental purposes 10 U. S. Code, Section 2373
    Business to business research and development agreement as a sub-award (15 U.S. Code, Section 3715)
  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (15 U.S. Code, Section 3710a)
  • *An award under 10 U. S. Code, Section 2371b 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.

For event-related questions, please contact Lindsay Horst,