The UK Ministry of Defence’s Competition of Ideas initiative has awarded it’s first technology research contract, worth £300,000.

Cambridge-based Plextek will research their proposal for how ad-hoc networking systems can enable better communication between military vehicles and convoys.

The Competition of Ideas was launched in October 2006, challenging UK scientists to offer innovative solutions to the most pressing defence issues.

Defence Minister Lord Drayson says the competition aims to encourage innovation and for private companies to engage with the ministry.

“This technology [Plextek’s proposal] could allow vehicles to share information on their position and cargo status with other vehicles in the convoy as well as transmitting the data back to base, all using very low cost, low power technology with little chance of intercept. This would make a real difference to the military and civilian drivers that provide logistical support to UK forces,” he says.

The MoD is expected to announce further contracts by the end of the month.