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Challenge USSOCOM Challenge: Novel Ballistic Coverage
USSOCOM Challenge: Novel Ballistic Coverage
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 269
Posted: Apr 28 2015
Challenge ID: 9933551
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

Plates of body armor can effectively protect the wearer from sustaining injury from small arms fire, but only in covered areas. The head, neck, and groin are some of the areas that remain uncovered because the ballistic materials in use are thick and not inherently flexible, thus hindering mobility. The Seeker desires a new approach for providing maximum ballistic coverage without range of motion limitations.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


Current body armor technology only provides coverage and protection to approximately 19% of the vital areas due to the weight and mobility degradation caused by modern ballistic materials. A high percentage of battlefield fatalities have been caused by wounds in the head, neck, and groin; areas that are not normally covered by body armor. The weight, thickness, and stiffness of current ballistic materials make it difficult to provide ballistic protection to these areas without impeding the mobility of the wearer. The Seeker desires a new approach for providing maximum ballistic coverage while maintaining user mobility and flexibility.


U.S. Special Operations Command has a mission to provide trained, equipped, ready, and regionally aligned special operations forces (SOF) in support of Geographic Combatant Commanders, and through unified action, conduct sustained special operations to eliminate threats to U.S. interests and protect the American people. On any given day, our SOF are deployed in over 75 countries, in many cases working side-by-side with multiple interagency and international partners. Our unique contribution to national security emanates from our superb SOF warriors, who time and time again demonstrate their dedication to duty, tenacity, and unwavering commitment to the security of our Nation. Since 9/11, our operations, ranging from peacetime engagement and building partner capacity, to direct action raids and irregular warfare, have contributed significantly to not only our own National Security, but global stability at large.


Participants must certify they do not have identical or essentially equivalent work funded by another Federal agency.

Federal employees acting within the scope of their employment are not eligible to participate. A Federal employee acting outside the scope of his or her employment should consult his or her ethics official before participating in the Challenge.

USSOCOM and CTTSO employees and support contractors, their spouses, dependents, and household members are not eligible to participate.

This Challenge is open to all others not excluded above.

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

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000.
  • Submission forwarding occurs during the Challenge.  Since submissions will be forwarded to the Seeker throughout the Challenge, please make sure you upload only a finished proposal. You can submit an updated version of your proposal only as a new submission. If you submit an updated version of your proposal, please clearly indicate the new items and/or edits compared to your previous submission. This will allow the Seeker to quickly find the new information and determine how it improves your submission.
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker. Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solver grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on June 2, 2015. 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 submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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