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At DASA, we find and fund exploitable innovation to support UK defence and security quickly and effectively, and support UK prosperity.

We fund innovation through two main mechanisms, the Open Call for Innovation and Themed Competitions.

Open Call for Innovation

The Open Call exists to offer suppliers the opportunity to submit their ideas to defence and security stakeholders.

The Open Call welcomes innovations that address defence or security challenges. Please see some examples of work we have funded here.

The Open Call is open for proposals all year round, with assessment dates scheduled across the year. More information on assessment dates can be found here.

Closing Date Competition Title
22 February 2023 Open Call for Innovation - Cycle 5 Security Rapid Impact, Defence Rapid Impact and all Innovation Focus Areas

Open Call competition category ‘Emerging Innovations’ is currently not available for submission. Further information will be provided as soon as this category becomes available again. If you have any queries or questions please email: accelerator@dstl.gov.uk

Innovation Focus Areas

Whilst we welcome a range of ideas and innovations, there are also some specific Innovation Focus Areas (IFAs) where proposals are sought:

Innovation Focus Areas currently Open for application

Advanced Materials for Defence (IFA038)
Making Science Fiction a Reality: Future Directed Energy Weapons (IFA035)
Beyond Line of Sight Communications (IFA036)

Themed Competitions

Themed Competitions exist to offer suppliers the opportunity to submit proposals around specific government areas of interest. Themed competitions may only run for a short time and have set closing dates.

DASA has had various themed competitions covering a range of topics. For details on past competitions, please see here.

To see examples of projects that have been funded through themed competitions, please see here.

Themed competitions currently open for application

Closing Date Competition Title
14 December 2022 Defence Innovation Loans - Continuous cycle
10 January 2023 Novel Amphibious Craft
18 January 2023 Understanding Whole Body Vibration

Defence Innovation Loans

Innovation Loans are an opportunity for UK-registered single small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with solutions to defence themed problems to apply for a Defence Innovation Loan to help develop and convert their mature innovation into a viable business proposition.

Defence Innovation Loans will be open for proposals all year round. Until 14 December 2022 the competition will be continuously open, meaning proposals will be assessed when submitted, with initial outcomes communicated within seven weeks, not including public holidays and weekends. On 14 December 2022 the competition will return to cycle based assessment periods. More information on the competition and its assessment can be found here.

The Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP)

The Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP) is a £16 million programme to boost small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) defence innovation.

Individual grants of up to 50% of a project’s value – to a maximum of £500K per grant - will be available through DTEP for collaborative projects between SMEs and larger suppliers, supporting the integration of novel technologies, materials and processes into Defence supply chains.

DTEP is open for proposals all year round with cycles closing at 3 month intervals for assessment of submissions. The full document (including the next cycle close date) can be found here.

Market Explorations open for application

Closing Date Market Exploration
20 January 2023 Project CHARYBDIS

Competitions Opening Soon

Launch Date Competition Title
2 March 2023 Open Call for Innovation - Cycle 1 Security Rapid Impact and Defence Rapid Impact

Please note for midday 22 February 2023 - midday 2 March 2023, the Open Call for Innovation will not have a Cycle open for submissions.

If you have any queries or questions please email: accelerator@dstl.gov.uk

Guidance

If you are interested in any of our competitions, please see the relevant guidance below.

Published 20 May 2019
Last updated 23 November 2022 + show all updates
  1. Information edited for Defence Innovation Loans to reflect the change to cycle based assessment in December 2022. Open Call Cycle 5 added as Open competition IFA033 Human Augmentation and IFA034 Countering IEDs by Novel Technology and Techniques removed from Innovation Areas Open for application IFA038 Advanced Materials for Defence added to Innovation Areas Open for Application

  2. Added a new Market Exploration: Project CHARYBDIS.

  3. Removed link to CHERI within Defence and Security themed competition as the submission period has ended. Removed reference to the Market Exploration 'How Clean is your Hull?' as this has now closed.

  4. Added new Themed Competition: Understanding Whole Body Vibration

  5. Themed competition (Novel Amphibious Craft) added.

  6. Disruptive Science and Technology Impacting the Future of Defence Competition closed.

  7. -Added Themed Competition: CHERI Within Defence and Security, which has opened for submissions -Removed Themed Competition: Point of Care Diagnostics at the Front Line Phase 2, which has closed for submissions

  8. Launched two new IFA Competitions (IFA035 and IFA 036) Updated closing and opening dates for Open Call Cycle 4 and 5.

  9. A new Market Exploration, How Clean is your Hull?, has been added.

  10. Removal of the Veterans' health Innovation Fund competition links as it has now closed.

  11. New Competition: Disruptive Science and Technology Impacting the Future of Defence

  12. Removed the following themed competitions from open applications: Engineering Biology for Defence and Security Generation-after-next Wearable Technologies

  13. Closing date for Open Call Cycle 3 has changed from 14 September 2022 to 20 September 2022. Opening date for Open Call Cycle 4 has changed from 14 September 2022 to 20 September 2022.

  14. Edited Themed competitions currently open for application - Removed It’s Good for Missiles to Talk

  15. Change of closing date for 'It's Good for Missiles to Talk' changed from 2 August to 3 August

  16. Added Point of Care Diagnostics at the Front Line Phase 2 to Themed section.

  17. Added Veterans' Health Innovation Fund

  18. Engineering Biology closing date has changed to midday Friday 26th August 2022.

  19. New competition added: Generation-after-next Wearable Technologies

  20. New themed competition launched: Engineering Biology for Defence and Security

  21. 1. Open Call Cycle Dates updated to reflect latest cycles

  22. New themed competition added: "It’s Good for Missiles to Talk"

  23. Removal of Remote Monitoring for Sensitive Sites from Open Competitions list

  24. New IFA (IFA034 - Countering IEDs by Novel Technology and Techniques) launched.

  25. New Innovation Focus Area added - Human Augmentation

  26. A new Innovation Focus Area has launched - Double Act: National Security Technologies

  27. Added new dates for the next open call cycle.

  28. Themed competitions currently open for application - Removed 'Advanced Radio Frequency Sensing, Integrated Effects and PNT'

  29. Defence Innovation Loans are open until further notice

  30. Alternative Navigation for Weapon Systems Market Exploration now closed

  31. Themed Competitions - Removed Telexistence Phase 2, it closed on April 6th at 12pm

  32. Removed 'Cycle 1' from Open Call for Innovation Remote Monitoring of Sensitive Sites launched

  33. Autonomous Resilient Cyber Defence (ARCD) Intelligent Agents IFA28 and Cycle 5 of the open call have closed and Cycle 1 FY22/23 has opened

  34. New competition launched: Advanced Radio Frequency Sensing, Integrated Effects and PNT

  35. Evidential Testing of Drug Drivers market exploration is now closed

  36. Themed Competition 'Catch the ChemBio SCENT' removed from open for application section.

  37. Edited - Themed competitions currently open for application. Added Telexistence Phase 2

  38. Defence Innovation Loans - a pilot of a continuous cycle will run until 16 March 2022.

  39. Updated the closing date for the current cycle 5 to 2 March 2022. Removed RCAS from the IFA list. Updated the coming soon dates with Cycle 1 for 2 March 2022. Closing date – removed Emerging Innovation. Now reads ‘Open Call for Innovation - Security Rapid Impact, Defence Rapid Impact and all Innovation Focus Areas.’ Added: ‘Open Call Cycle 5 competition category ‘Emerging Innovations’ is currently not available for submission. Further information will be provided as soon as this category becomes available again. If you have any queries or questions please email: accelerator@dstl.gov.uk’

  40. New market exploration launched: "Evidential Testing of Drug Drivers"

  41. Added new market exploration: Hybridisation of the Naval Fleet

  42. Space to Innovate Campaign - Bravo Drop has closed to submissions. Market Exploration: Tackling E-Scooter and E-Bike enabled crime has closed to submissions.

  43. Added - 'Catch the ChemBio SCENT' Themed Competition currently open.

  44. Innovation Focus Area section updated to include the Wearable Technology IFA

  45. Added links to new IFA 030 Military Systems Information Assurance (MISA). Updated dates for the next Open Call cycle to show Cycle 4 is the current cycle and Cycle 5 is the next cycle. Updated Defence Innovation Loans to show the current Cycle dates.

  46. Added document: MODREC Guidance for Suppliers

  47. Added new Market Exploration: Tackling E-Scooter and E-Bike enabled crime

  48. Edited 'Themed competitions currently open for application' - Space to Innovate Campaign - Bravo Drop has been launched.

  49. Removed links to Market Explorations that have now closed.

  50. Contains links to IFA028 - Autonomous Resilient Cyber Defence (ARCD) Intelligent Agents and IFA029 - Reducing the Cyber Attack Surface (RCAS), as they are now open for submission.

  51. Open Call Cycle 3 has been moved to the current competitions section and Open Call Cycle 4 has been added to the Competitions Opening Soon section. Edited the dates for the IFA competitions. The title ‘Themed Competitions currently open for application’ has been changed to ‘Competitions currently open for applications’

  52. The Competitions open for applications have been updated with Open Call Cycle 3, as have the the Competitions Opening Soon (Open Call Cycle 4 and the IFA's) Space to Innovate has been removed from Open Competitions as it is closed now Defence Innovation Loans Cycle 2 has been added to the list of competitions currently open.

  53. Added two new competitions to "competitions opening soon" section: - Innovation Focus Area 028 – Autonomous Resilient Cyber Defence - Intellect Agents - Innovation Focus Area 029 – Reducing the Cyber Attack Surface

  54. Look Out! Maritime Early Warning Innovations Competition closed; removed from 'Competitions currently open for application' section.

  55. Market exploration closed and removed from website Defence Innovation Loan added as a new competition

  56. Removed Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence - Phase 2 from the Themed Competitions - Competitions currently open for application section

  57. New competition added: Space to Innovate Campaign - Alpha Drop

  58. New open call competition open: Security Rapid Impact

  59. - Open Call Cycle 2 listed as a current competition and Open Call Cycle 3 listed as opening soon. - Link to IFA026 - Armoured Fighting Vehicle Short Gap Crossing Capability description was removed as IFA026 has now closed.

  60. New Themed Competition added - Look Out! Maritime Early Warning Innovations

  61. Removal of Uncrewed Underwater Vehicle competition

  62. New competition added - Windfarm Mitigation for UK Air Defence - Phase 2

  63. Wireless communications, networking and information theory competition now closed.

  64. - Link to IFA025 Reducing Reliance on Global Navigation Satellite Systems Quantum Augmented Position, Navigation and Timing Sensing Capability, removed as now closed for submission. - Open Call Cycle 1 listed as current competition. Now open for Emerging Innovations and Rapid Impact submissions. - Open Call Cycle 2 listed as upcoming competition.

  65. Map the Gap Phase 2 now closed

  66. Now includes link to Armoured Fighting Vehicle Short Gap Crossing Capability (IFA026) IFA wording.

  67. Take Cover Phase 3 Closed competition Uncrewed Underwater Vehicle Testbed opened

  68. Wireless communications, networking and information theory challenge now open.

  69. Right On Time: Automating Military Logistics launched

  70. Open Call Cycle 6 listed as current competition and Cycle 1 launch date added.

  71. Listed Open Call cycle 6 as opening soon.

  72. Closing Date for Map the Gap amended

  73. New Themed competition added

  74. Removed link to IFA018 - closed Removed link to Open Call cycle 4 - closed Cycle 5 listed as a current cycle - Included detail that only Rapid Impact and IFAs will be open.

  75. Edited Open Call Cycle 5 launch date to correct it to 3 December.

  76. Telexistence removed from competitions open for application

  77. Added link to IFA025 - Reducing Reliance on Global Navigation Satellite Systems Quantum Augmented Position, Navigation and Timing Sensing Capability

  78. Link to IFA025 - Quantum Augmented Position, Navigation and Timing Sensing Capability added

  79. Removed closed competitions from the list of open competitions.

  80. Removed Open Call Cycle 3, added Open Call Cycle 4 and 5 dates.

  81. added COVID-19 Open Call for Innovation Cycle dates

  82. Removed the links to the IFAs that are no longer open. Updated the open call dates.

  83. Autonomy in challenging environments Phase 1 now open.

  84. Removed now closed competitions (FASS Testing and Trialling and Novel Chemistry)

  85. Updated with current open funding opportunities

  86. new competition added

  87. First published.