The joint Home Office and Department for Transport team has launched a competition through the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) as part of its wider FASS programme, worth £25.5 million until 2021.
Suppliers are being asked to develop truly innovative technologies, with a focus on people, baggage and cargo security.
The technologies and approaches should help detect the widest possible range of explosives, weapons and other threats that could be taken onto an aircraft, while limiting any inconvenience caused to passengers or delays to cargo operations.
Lord (Tariq) Ahmad Minister for Aviation said:
Keeping passengers safe is our absolute priority. The threat to aviation is continuing to evolve and we must remain both vigilant and a step ahead with our response. The recent UN Security Council resolution on Aviation Security, which was championed by the UK has called on States to promote new technologies and innovative techniques. Through this competition we are investing in research to raise screening standards, and helping to create a safer and more secure transport system.
This is one of the first competitions to benefit from additional support and resources as CDE transitions to become the Defence and Security Accelerator, recently announced by the Secretary of State for Defence.
Security Minister Ben Wallace said:
Air travel is already one of the safest and most secure ways to travel but as threats change, our response must change with it. I would like to see entries to this competition which will make our skies even safer for passengers and, where it is safe to do so, give them a smoother experience at the airport.
The competition opened to proposals on 20 October 2016 and will run in 2 parts, with £1 million in each phase. At the end of phase 1, successful projects will be asked to demonstrate proof of concept of their technology and explain their proposed approach to transition the concept to a mature operational solution. Bidders funded at phase 1 qualify for entry into phase 2 of this competition where up to an additional £1 million of funding will be made available.
Proposals must be received by CDE by 5pm on Thursday 19 January 2017. Competition details are now available on the CDE website.