Submit Innovative Solutions

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) executes research and development (R&D) projects on behalf of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and various other government organizations. Investments in Civil Works are critical in generating near- and long-term benefits for securing our communities, supporting and growing our economy, creating jobs, and enhancing broader societal impacts such as improved public health, National security, recreation and tourism. 

Strategic Focus Areas


NextGen Water Resources Infrastructure

Years of deferred construction and maintenance have created backlogs approaching $200 billion. Maintaining and replacing aging infrastructure requires transformative technologies that enable more cost-effective, resilient and reliable solutions within a changing climate, including ultra-durable and rapid construction materials and processes, models that predict performance and optimize maintenance, and autonomous inspection techniques.

Targeted strategic capabilities for this focus area are:

  • Robust and Quantitative Understanding of Existing Conditions: advanced Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) methods, geophysical characterization, aging processes and synergies, health monitoring systems, advanced digital twins,  and related modeling and analysis 
  • Risk Quantification and Decision-Support: asset monitoring for reliability-centered maintenance, infrastructure technology transition and guidance modernization  
  • Technologies for Resilience and Reliability: advanced materials, repair and retrofit methods, innovative design and construction approaches, modernizing aging infrastructure with green materials and autonomous operations / control capabilities, automated QA/QC tools, and in-situ robotic repair technologies 
  • Infrastructure Performance Forecasting: cross cutting S&T for improved risk quantification and forecasting, advanced decision support for asset management, and risk communication tools for Planning, Engineering and Design (PED), Construction, and Operations & Maintenance (O&M)

Sediment Management

Innovation in Sediment Management

Leap-ahead construction and operation technologies are needed to reduce USACE dredging costs that currently exceed $1 billion annually, and enhance environmental sustainability through strategic placement of dredged sediments. Next-generation sensors, advanced modeling and increased public-private partnerships carry the potential to spark greater efficiencies. Meanwhile, dredged sediment must be strategically placed using Engineering with Nature® principles to deliver environmental and social benefits toward environmental sustainability, such as healthier wetlands, flood risk reduction, and more sustainable river and coastal shorelines and habitats. Partnering is essential to achieve these goals.

Targeted strategic capabilities for this focus area are: 

  • Public-Private Partnerships For Dredging Innovation and Agency Conservation 
  • Sustainable Sediment Engineering, Operations and Management 
  • Innovative and Leap-Ahead Construction and Operations Technologies 
  • Engineering With Nature® Solutions for Multi-Purpose Value, including engineering guidance for Natural and Nature-Based Infrastructure and best practices for sustainable management 
  • Next Generation Dredging: sensors for onsite and remote monitoring of dredging processes, including a national physical modeling facility to test new construction and nature-based solutions and optimize dredging and placement operations

Water Modeling

Hurricane Compound Flooding

Comprehensive Water Risk Management

The cost of U.S. inland and coastal flood damage has increased 10-fold over the past 40 years, from $5 billion to $50 billion annually. To most effectively manage this growing risk within a changing climate, USACE needs a common operating framework that evaluates comprehensive flood hazard on a continental scale. This framework will incorporate next-generation remote and space-based observations; advanced numerical modeling methods that analyze the interaction of atmospheric, inland and coastal processes; and the ability to integrate simulation and observation data using machine learning and artificial intelligence. This framework can evaluate lifecycle performance of water resource systems, including nature-based features and traditional infrastructure solutions, and improve arid region forecasting and post-crisis impacts.

Targeted strategic capabilities for this focus area are:

  • Integrated Earth Observations: remote and in situ sensing of atmospheric, ocean and land surface data assimilated in real time, and continuous assimilation of data for model validation 
  • Risk-Informed Decision Support: efficient ensemble approaches to quantify uncertainty, hazard assessment tools for risk-based project design and operation over seasonal projections, including Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations and National Storm Hazards Database 
  • National Simulation Framework: Real-time High-Resolution National hydro-terrestrial simulation framework for community resilience, including a common operating framework to evaluate comprehensive flood hazards, providing a driver for sediment, ecosystem infrastructure, and crisis assessments 
  • Support for Social Benefits and Environmental Justice: assessment of alternatives to mitigate adverse societal impacts from water hazards, and quantification of environmental justice benefits over seasonal projections

AI, Robotics and Data

Innovative Applications of Big Data Analytics, AI and Autonomy

Solving the most complex Civil Works problems requires leap-ahead capabilities, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to enable rapid risk-informed decision making. This area will combine sensor data with big data analytics, integrate disparate models, and enable trade-space analytics to optimize designs and operations. The result will be a dashboard to evaluate impacts of alternatives, and a “systems-of-systems” approach to evaluate benefits across USACE’s complex water resource missions.

Targeted strategic capabilities for this focus area are: 

  • Sensor Integration and Big Data Discovery: automated data collection, harvesting and mining from sensors and systems; assimilating structured and unstructured data  
  • Model Integration Framework: Modelling framework to link and integrate disparate models, automated approaches for digital twin initialization, calibration, and validation  
  • Tradespace Analytics and Design: Trade-space analytics for design and operational optimization to allow for comparisons for alternatives, automated approaches to streamline computational tools for end users to significantly improve efficiency and provide a simplified user interface 
  • Rapid High-Fidelity Decision-Support: Develop reduced order models from high fidelity models to provide results at a fraction of computation time, AI infused algorithms for forecasting and decision support, including advanced cyber threat protection and operational technology

Crisis Mitigation

Crisis Mitigation, Response and Recovery

As natural and man-made hazards continue to grow, planners need proactive tools to evaluate how infrastructure will perform during extreme conditions, to understand compound threats, and to identify vulnerabilities and potential cascading failures. Meanwhile, first responders and emergency managers need artificial intelligence capabilities to rapidly collect and analyze data from multiple sources to support decisions. Frameworks must allow for greater integration of data and broad communication across agencies and partners with advanced mobile reconnaissance solutions and supply chain logistics.

Targeted strategic capabilities for this focus area are:

  • Communication and Response Technologies: tools and approaches for advanced real-time risk communication and dissemination, logistics for materiel solutions and transportation networks  
  • Multi-Hazard Crisis Modeling Capabilities: advanced multi-hazard modeling tools that provide broad and quantitative impacts beyond project scale including infrastructure, environment, and socio-cultural issues, e.g., Post-Wildfire Risk Management; and war-gaming complex scenarios  
  • Advanced Reconnaissance Technologies: unmanned and autonomous systems for reconnaissance and advanced data collection systems linked to geospatial tools and enterprise and interagency databases 
  • Risk Science and Decision Support: integration of data and models for robust data-driven optimized decision support tools, including engineering to support public health and integration of equity, social factors and economics  


Sustainable Species Management

Currently not accepting submissions

Managing invasive species and protecting threatened and endangered species each pose significant challenges to our nation’s resources and economy. Developing and adopting advanced technologies and methodologies for sustainable species management through collaboration and partnership is crucial for effective environmental stewardship and delivery of the USACE aquatic ecosystem restoration (AER) mission.  

Targeted strategic capabilities for this focus area are: 

  • Detection and Sensing invasive and threatened and endangered (T&E) Species: innovative sensors and advanced monitoring of species movement, including unmanned species detection, real-time monitoring; quantifying species movement; and identifying and responding to recovery plans 
  • Prevent Introduction and Spread of invasive species: accurately evaluating ecosystem function and sustainability, understanding species response to ecosystem conditions, pin-pointing ecosystem vulnerability and the potential for T&E species habitat, and rapidly improving predictions, reduce uncertainty, prevent new introductions through next-generation ecological modeling 
  • Management to Increase USACE Mission Readiness: rapid biological, chemical, mechanical, and physical control technology; advanced tools for rapid sustainable species; establishment of best management practices; all to rapidly evaluate treatment alternatives and trade-offs, including issues such as invasive carp and Harmful Algal Blooms

All resultant contracts will be firm-fixed price. All items, technologies, and services (including research and development) procured via this CSO are treated as commercial. ERDC is conducting this CSO on a full and open basis and intends to award contracts in accordance with FAR part 12 and the FAR part that is deemed most appropriate for the solution proposed (i.e., FAR part 13, 15, and/or 35). FAR/DFAR clauses will be integrated into contracts on a case-by-case basis based on proposed scope.

Additional terms and conditions may be required as circumstances necessitate; examples of such would be data rights, security, R&D, educational institutions, etc. The government does not plan to engage in the debrief process outlined in FAR part 15 but will provide feedback to unsuccessful offerors as appropriate and at its discretion. Award may be made using any appropriate vehicle (e.g., FAR-based contracts and Other Transactions) in accordance with applicable authorities that are effective at the time of the award.

Helpful Links

How to Participate

1. Review the CSO Solicitation
2. Review FAQ
3. Once the solution is ready to submit, complete the submission form

Questions: Please send all technical and administrative questions using this form. Q&A will be updated periodically. It is the responsibility of the offeror to review Q&A prior to submitting a proposal.

All submissions received by 4:00 pm CST on May 22, 2024 will receive full consideration.

Share This Project