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NavalX Tech Bridge Challenge: Designs for an Ocean Floor Sediment Collection Device

  • Award: Up to $90,000 in total
  • Challenge type: Theoretical - Licensing
  • Challenge closed

Challenge overview


The US Navy seeks designs for an automated, inexpensive, underwater sediment collection device for operation in the epipelagic zone of the ocean to a depth of 200 meters. The device must be capable of operation attached to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or by a diver with minimal manual intervention. It should weigh (in air) 5 kilograms or less, be capable of collecting samples of clay, silt, and sand while retaining any layering found within the sample, and collect samples to a sediment depth between 300 and 600 millimeters.

This Challenge has a special award structure with up to three awards of $35,000, $30,000, and $25,000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, for solutions meeting all requirements. 

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.



Ocean sediments can affect the performance of sonar systems and other seabed activities. Information on the composition and layer structure of ocean floor sediments from an area of interest may be used during mission planning to account for these effects. Current methods typically utilize divers with hand-held implements to collect material from the ocean floor but this often only leads to general composition information with no layer or structure information due to the nature of the implements used for collection. The US Navy is soliciting designs for an inexpensive, automated underwater sediment collection device that can collect samples of clay, silt, and sand while retaining the layering found within the sample. It must be capable of operating attached to a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or by a single diver with limited manual intervention and operate to a depth of 200 meters. Designs should include preliminary CAD files and wiring diagrams and be accompanied by a detailed description of the device as well as an operating guide for the proposed device.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will not have to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions. This Challenge has a special award structure with up to three awards of $35,000, $30,000, and $25,000 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, for solutions meeting all requirements.

All Solvers will receive notification of selection or non-selection, through the Challenge platform.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 26-May-2022.
Late submissions will not be considered.



Eligibility is subject to verification by the Government before cash prizes are awarded. Participants (residents or entities) who are designated by the United States Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control are not eligible to receive any cash prize in the Challenge. Participants who are listed, or become listed, on the Excluded Parties List found on, have any active exclusions, or are otherwise unable to be deemed responsible in accordance with FAR 9.104-1 based on information available in FAPIIS, are not eligible to receive any cash prize in the Challenge.

Federal employees, including NAVSEA employees, and NAVSEA support contractors acting within the scope of their employment are not eligible to participate in the Challenge. Federal employees and contractors acting outside the scope of their employment should consult their ethics official and appropriate management before participating in the Challenge.

Individuals and organizations that are funded by NAVSEA, but not limited to, any Federally Funded Research and Development Centers and University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs), or private-sector personnel whose scope of work includes NAVSEA development or administrative support are not eligible to participate in the Challenge. 



The Gulf Coast Tech Bridge fosters collaboration between three Navy commands along the Gulf of Mexico. The Tech Bridge serves as the region's super-connector, tying together regional government, industry & academia to solve the Navy's challenges in coastal regions.

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD), the Naval Research Lab (NRL) Stennis, and the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) are leading the Gulf Coast Tech Bridge, which spans a unique vibrant region across four states. The Tech Bridge is focused on the future, growing coastal science and unmanned vehicle development, hosting industry events, and expanding strategic partnerships. Additionally, the group benefits from a premier testing environment on the Gulf of Mexico as well as direct fleet support.


The Naval X Northeast Tech Bridge is part of a connected Naval X Tech Bridge network that enhances collaboration between Naval Labs, industry, academia, and other military branches. The Northeast Tech Bridge is coordinated at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Newport.

The 401 Tech Bridge, a non-profit entity in Rhode Island and business unit of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation, serves as a super-connector for companies that are developing leading-edge advanced materials, technologies, and products, enabling business growth, and speeding the process of finding commercial and dual-use applications for technologies. 401 Tech Bridge has a partnership agreement with NUWC Division Newport to support the Northeast Tech Bridge, increasing collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation by connecting Navy and industry technical problems to leading-edge companies, universities, and innovation partners.


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 a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge?

An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver’s concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.