AIxCC will have two tracks for participation: an Open Track and Funded Track. While most participants will register to compete in AIxCC through Open Track, DARPA will fund up to seven small businesses to compete in AIxCC. Please see Rules for further details regarding eligibility.
Competitors will register on this website from December 1, 2023 – April 30, 2024.
Competitors will be selected from proposals submitted to a Small Business Innovation
Research (SBIR) solicitation, and up to seven (7) small businesses will receive funding to
participate of up to $1 million each. On October 26, 2023, the DARPA Small Business
Programs Office (SBPO) re-released topic HR0011SB20234-17, Artificial Intelligence Cyber
Challenge (AIxCC) for proposal submissions.
After further review of the AIxCC Funded Track SBIR requirements, DARPA identified an
opportunity to provide additional clarity to all potential proposers, including those who
submitted a timely proposal by the original due date of October 3, 2023.
The clarifying points can be located within the amended solicitation at
https://www.defensesbirsttr.mil/SBIR-STTR/Opportunities/ (see “DARPA SBIR 23.4 – Release
11”), and in the updated Rules and FAQs.
Proposers who submitted a timely proposal by the original due date of October 3, 2023 have
Firms can make edits at any time during the amended open period but must ensure that the proposal is recertified and resubmitted by November 9, 2023 at 12:00 pm ET. Proposals that are unlocked for revision by the proposer and not recertified and resubmitted by the deadline will not be considered submitted and will not be evaluated. As stated above, you can take no action and the proposal will remain as it was for the original October 03, 2023 submission.
Funded track teams will be competitively selected based on proposals submitted in response to a SBIR topic HR0011SB20234_017, titled Artificial Intelligence Cyber Challenge (AIxCC).
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
Review complete eligibility requirements at SBIR Policy Directive – Chapter 6: Eligibility and Application (Proposal) Requirements.
Step 2: Find the AIxCC Topic
The AIxCC SBIR topic can be found at https://www.dodsbirsttr.mil/topics-app/
Filter by HR0011SB20234_017 or Artificial Intelligence Cyber Challenge (AIxCC).
The Proposal Submission Instructions for SBIR topic HR0011SB20234_017 can be found at: https://media.defense.gov/2023/Aug/02/2003272630/-1/-1/0/DARPA_SBIR_234_R11.PDF
Step 3: Ask Questions
During the announcement period, communication between small business concerns (SBCs) and topic authors is highly encouraged. During the pre-release period, you may directly communicate with a topic author to ask technical questions about his/her/their topic; for your convenience, contact information is provided within each topic.
To ensure competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed once a topic enters the open period (when SBCs can submit proposals to DoD). However, during the open period, proposers may submit written questions about open topics via the DARPA SBIR/STTR BAA email address listed in the topic instructions. All questions and answers generated from emails are posted in Q&A documents and published under the topic listing on the DARPA.mil Opportunities page and the DARPA SBIR/STTR Virtual Proposers Day page.
All proposers are advised to monitor these pages during the open announcement period for questions, answers, and other significant information relevant to their SBIR/STTR topics of interest.
Step 4: Prepare for Proposal
All proposals are initially screened to determine responsiveness with submission requirements published in the DoD SBIR Program Announcement and supplemental DARPA instructions. Proposals that do not comply with the requirements are considered non-responsive and are not evaluated. Engineers and/or scientists evaluate proposals that do comply with the requirements to determine the most promising technical and scientific approaches.
This solicitation will require the delivery of six separate volumes. Many of these Volumes MUST be completed online through the Defense SBIR/STTR Innovation Portal (DSIP).
NOTE: A step-by-step submission instruction document titled “HR0011SB20234-17 Phase II Technical Volume 2 Template”, as well as a template for the SBIR Milestones is available at https://www.darpa.mil/work-with-us/for-small-businesses/participate-sbir-sttr-program, under SBIR/STTR BAA FORMS & TEMPLATES.
Links to locations or DARPA templates can be found below:
Step 5: Submit Proposal
All SBIR proposals must be prepared and submitted electronically through the Defense SBIR/STTR Innovation Portal (DSIP) and in accordance with the program announcement. Once you begin a Proposal Cover Sheet, you may edit the Cover Sheet and proposal volumes at any time until the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) closing date. When you have completed your proposal and reviewed your proposal, you must click “Submit Proposal.” If the proposal status is “In Progress,” it will not be considered submitted upon the announcement close.