The UK Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched a new competition to seek proposals for technologies that would help further develop bio-detection capability.
DASA aims to develop a fieldable system that would detect and report without users coming into close contact with hazardous and dangerous agents in the field.
The competition is seeking ideas that are focused on sensors and reporting mechanisms and that would be capable of remotely detecting the hazards as quickly as possible, thereby enabling front line users to safely avoid the threats.
In addition, technologies capable of detecting the hazard to a lower confidence level and then cue deployment of a high-confidence sensor could also be considered.
According to DASA, the current methods to detect, locate and report hazardous biological materials consume a lot of time and are labour intensive.
DASA is looking for proposals for proof-of-concept technologies above Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2 Phase I. The competition’s Phase I has been allocated a total budget of up to £500k to fund around three to five projects.
Furthermore, the duration of the Phase I research projects is expected to be up to six months.
Additional funding is anticipated to be available for the future phases to further develop technologies to higher TRLs. The competition is scheduled to close on 7 November this year.
A biological agent is defined as a micro-organism, cell culture or human endoparasite, including any which have been genetically modified and might cause an infection, allergy or toxicity, or otherwise create a hazard to human health.