DASA is tasked to find and fund exploitable innovations to support UK defence and security quickly and effectively, and support UK prosperity. The cross-Government organisation launched in December 2016 under the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
In the first two years DASA has:
- Run 26 innovation competitions
- Assessed 1,461 proposals from creative companies and individuals
- Invested £42.1 million in 278 projects
Approximately 40 per cent of proposals are from ‘new to DASA’ organisations; demonstrating how DASA reaches out beyond traditional suppliers to find innovative people with great ideas, products or services. Over 50 per cent of this funding has gone to small and medium-sized enterprises.
DASA not only funds UK innovators, but also helps businesses to grow and develop, giving them access to networks of expertise and providing them with technical support. DASA connects these businesses to frontline services such as the armed forces and police, as well as aviation security, transport security, and counter-terrorism. Such access has allowed innovations to be tested in real-life situations, rapidly accelerating the innovation process.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
DASA is a shining example of how we are responding to the rapid pace of evolving technology. This excellent organisation harnesses ingenious innovation ideas from across the private sector and collaborates widely across academia, industry and the military.
DASA is maintaining our military edge over adversaries by driving revolutionary ideas in Artificial Intelligence, human-machine teaming and surveillance.
DASA provides stimulus and support for companies on their innovation journey. The organisation guides technology from proof of concept to highly developed products.
DASA brings together the private sector, academia and government organisations to co-create pioneering solutions to address defence and security challenges. They are not confined to working with science and technology; DASA also partners with behavioural and social sciences on better ways of working.
One of the current bodies of work underway with DASA is a collaboration with the Australian Government. This is a themed competition calling for companies to submit ideas on innovative joining technologies that will accelerate the integration of advanced materials onto military platforms.