The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) in the UK has launched a new Innovation Focus Area (IFA) to develop technologies to prevent cyberattacks on military platforms.

Called Reducing the Cyber Attack Surface, the IFA will seek proposals that will help in eliminating cyber vulnerabilities and reduce cyberattack opportunities.

Particularly, the UK is looking for technologies that are novel and applicable across a whole ‘class’ of attack surfaces rather than solutions made to combat specific threats. The proposed solutions could be for future systems or for bolstering existing capabilities.

Under the IFA, DASA will fund proposals within Technical Readiness Level (TRL) 4 – 7 up to £300,000 for a nine-month contract.

The programme is being run on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and Defence Science and Technology (DST).

In a statement, the DASA said: “Proposed technologies should demonstrate by providing a roadmap describing how they would achieve a technical demonstrator by end of Financial Year 2023 if further funding was made available.”

Cycle 1 of the IFA is currently open and will close on 20 October 2021. Subsequently, the second cycle will be launched and will continue to 5 January next year.

DASA is also running another cybersecurity IFA called Autonomous Cyber Defence for Military Systems.

This seeks to develop autonomous agents to protect military networks and systems.

A part of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), DASA identifies and funds potential technologies that can help the British Armed Forces gain military advantage over adversaries.

In January, DASA launched the second phase of a competition to develop a survey system for armed troops.