Countering new threats of the modern world and protecting revenue on imported goods are a strategic priority for the UK government.
Innovate UK is working with the Home Office and Border Force to invest up to £250,000 in projects that develop new ways of detecting illicit goods in letters and parcels arriving at UK borders. A further £1 million could be available to develop the best ideas in a second phase of the competition.
Funding is provided by the GovTech Catalyst under the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme.
The GovTech Catalyst helps the public sector to use emerging technologies to improve public service efficiency and productivity.
Improving detection with no impact on the flow of goods
The competition is looking for ways of improving detection in the current postal and fast-parcel areas.
It is important that solutions have no effect on the flow of goods at the UK border.
Projects should address one or more of the following challenges to:
- reduce physical intervention in the scanning process, by using more automation
- increase how much can be scanned in a given period
- be more dynamic and adaptable
- the competition opens on 3 December 2018, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 16 January 2019
- it is open to organisations of any size
- in phase 1 we expect project costs to be up to £50,000 and to last up to 3 months
- successful projects in the second phase could receive up to £500,000 to produce and test a product for commercial use
- projects will be 100% funded
- a briefing event will be held in London on 3 December 2018 for applicants to find out more and how to submit a quality application