The Problem

Quantum Hardening

Quantum computing capabilities can render Army networks and sensitive data vulnerable to attacks. This threat demands the future-proofing of Army systems through quantum hardening — the process of fortifying cryptographic protocols to withstand attacks from quantum computers.

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The Opportunity

DIRECT TO PHASE II

One company will receive up to $1,000,000 to develop, build, and demonstrate a tactical quantum hardening solution prototype that helps the Army assess its cryptographic security posture, implement quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms with minimal impact, and provide a crypto-agile framework to protect sensitive data from adversarial quantum computer attacks. Solutions should include cryptographic inventorying and management software or a software suite.

This is a Direct to Phase II (DP2) SPARTN SBIR opportunity with a 16-month period of performance. DP2 proposals should build on the design formulated according to Phase I requirements described in the “PHASE I” section of the solicitation. Required Phase II deliverables include the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 prototype for further Army evaluation, as well as monthly and final reports detailing design and performance analysis of the prototype. The company will demonstrate its solution at NetModX 2024 — an annual field-based experimentation event hosted by the US Army C5ISR Center — to receive feedback on the technology.

Examples of solution capabilities that will be considered include:

  • Integrates with existing Army networks in unclassified and classified configurations (limited on-premise servers, limited bandwidth, existing architecture for configurations cyber hardened)
  • Discovery and cataloging of cryptographic protocols, ciphersuites, and keys across networks
  • Real-time cryptographic monitoring
  • Identify vulnerabilities and algorithms that do not adhere to Army standards
  • Self-repair/remediation for network certificates identified via Army tactical network with systems such as Joint Battle Command-Platform (JBC-P), Deployable Defensive Cyberspace (DDS), and the Tactical Radio (TR) application
  • Tests and implements the solution on the Upper Tactical Internet and the Lower Tactical Internet in terms of bandwidth, configuration, VMs, on-premise servers, etc.

Please note the recent changes to the SBIR Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) document to ensure your proposal doesn't get disqualified.

About the SPARTN Program

What Makes SPARTN Different?

Special Program Awards for Required Technology Needs (SPARTN) blends government and industry best practices to introduce a new whole-of-Army, collaborative approach to solution innovation. The result is a way to solve Army problems faster and to accelerate the process by which successful technology is purchased by the Army.

You can apply to help solve a specific SPARTN problem via the Defense SBIR/STTR innovation portal (DSIP). Simply search for the problem you want to help solve using the associated topic name or number.

Watch previous SPARTN webinars to learn more

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Getting Started

To apply you'll need a unique Entity ID and to register with SAM.gov.
Small Business? Consider registering with the SBA.
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