DASA launches £2.8m innovation funding competition

The Defence and Security Accelerators launched a new competition to find and develop new technology to screen people, possessions, goods, vehicles, areas and buildings.

The £2.8 million competition takes place in two phases. Up to £1 million is available in Phase 1 with proposal bids in the region of £70,000 for six months to develop proof of concept. It is seeking to find state of the art and technological solutions for the improved detection of explosives, weapons and illicit drugs.

Up to £1.8 million will be available for proposals in Phase 2. Projects will need to develop and evaluate their prototypes or demonstrators by the end of September 2023.

The Innovative Research Call (IRC) 2020 for Explosives and Weapons Detection is a cross-governmental programme that seeks proposals from industry and academia for the screening of people and/or their possessions, goods, vehicles, and buildings and areas.

Laurence Bickerton, DASA delivery manager, said: “We are looking for the best innovations to keep our communities safe from the deadliest threats we face. To tackle this challenge, we are looking for new concepts and advances in current technology – and we are appealing far and wide for the best ideas and innovative solutions to help create a safer future for all.”

The IRC competition is run on behalf of several government departments and law enforcement agencies, including the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), Metropolitan Police Service, Home Office, Office of Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) and UK Border Force.


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