Funding Opportunities


The US Navy has a requirement for a modular, expeditionary security Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) that is reusable and provides for low-cost maintenance. Given the expeditionary nature of the system, it must be produced or assembled at the point of need. This Challenge seeks a design for a USV that can be shipped in a standard 20-foot shipping container, produced or assembled on site in less than two hours and capable of carrying or towing a variety of payloads.

This is a theoretical challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The challenge award will be contingent upon evaluation of the proposal. This challenge carries an award of $50,000. Those submitting top-rated design proposals may have the opportunity for continued work for prototype development under a follow-on Other Transactions prototype, in the amount up to $1 million.

This prize challenge is a collaboration between 401 Tech Bridge and the NavalX Northeast Tech Bridge.

Award: $50,000
This challenge has closed and is in the review process.


Valve handwheels are common on every Naval ship, ranging from two-inch polymer supply line valves to metal hand wheels several feet in diameter. The range and ubiquity of these handwheels poses a challenge as it is untenable for individual ships to maintain a stock of every single variation onboard. Modern techniques such as additive manufacturing can produce needed parts on-demand but challenges remain in both certification and design.

This Challenge seeks a parametric design tool in the form of an executable file that will automatically generate the necessary CAD files to allow on-demand manufacturing of specific handwheels on board a Naval ship.

This prize challenge is a collaboration among 401 Tech Bridge, the Naval X Northeast Tech Bridge, and NAVSEA. Learn more about the challenge from the technical leads by watching our kick-off webinar.

Award: $30,000
This challenge has closed and is in the review process.


The 401 Tech Bridge Materials Innovation Challenge is a competitive program that offers businesses the opportunity to leverage academic resources such as research, validation and testing to accelerate the development of advanced materials and technologies.

Canapitsit Customs LLCNautilus Defense and TxV Aerospace Composites were selected as the winners of the first Materials Innovation Challenge. 401 Tech Bridge has provided $105,000 ($35,000 per project) to the University of Rhode Island College of Engineering.

Project funding currently supports collaboration with URI’s Dynamic Photomechanics Laboratory, led by Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering Professor, Arun Shukla and Assistant Professor, Helio Matos, and its Multiscale & Multiphysics Mechanics of Materials Research Laboratory, led by Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Sumanta Das, on modeling, research, testing and validation projects.

A new round of funding for the next Materials Innovation Challenge is coming soon!