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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/competition-future-screening-for-aviation-and-borders/competition-document-future-screening-for-aviation-and-borders
This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition is seeking innovative proposals that can improve the way in which prohibited, illicit and contraband items are detected through screening.
- Illicit items are those that are illegal (e.g. drugs)
- Contraband items are those that are associated with smuggling and tax avoidance (e.g. large quantities of alcohol, cigarettes, precious minerals, and metals)
- Prohibited items are those that are not allowed to be taken onto planes (e.g. firearms, knives)
Funding will be provided by the Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) Programme, courtesy of the Department for Transport (DfT) and Home Office (HO) as well as the United States Department for Homeland Security (DHS). This will see up to £4.5million being made available over the next two years for innovative proposals to address this theme. Further investment may be provided by other government departments.
Contracts will be funded for an initial period of up to 6 months, although proposals of less than 6 months are also welcomed e.g. scoping and feasibility studies. We are looking to undertake continuous development of solutions and our intent is to provide further funding to projects that are demonstrated to be successful during this initial period. Therefore, unlike previous DASA-FASS competitions, this is the only planned phase for this call. Further development of solutions beyond the initial period of up to 6 months, will take place through a framework agreement and tasking.
All funded projects must be completed by 28 February 2021, but may finish before that date.
This competition closes on 1 July 2019 at midday (BST).
2. Competition Scope
The FASS programme forms part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The review was published in 2015 and set out the Government’s National Security Strategy for the coming five years, including a commitment to double spending on aviation security in order to strengthen the response to threats against the aviation industry. Consequently, FASS was established in 2016 with a budget of £25.5million over five years to invest in innovative solutions for aviation security.
The UN Security Council Resolution 2309 stresses the need for “aviation security measures to keep pace with the evolving threat” and encourages States to “maximise the promotion, utilization and sharing of new technologies and innovative techniques that maximise the capability to detect explosives and other threats”. The FASS programme is an important element of the UK’s commitment to these Security Council aims.
The aviation industry needs to balance appropriate protection of people and assets whilst keeping costs low and throughput high. It must also ensure compliance with government regulation on transport security. Alongside these priorities, it’s crucial that people experience a simple, non-intrusive journey through airport security.
As the aviation industry continues to expand, the threat to aviation is ever-evolving. This competition seeks to make a positive impact on the Government’s priority to create a safer, more secure and sustainable transport system for all. It will also support the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and wider aviation sector in maintaining a high level of confidence in threat detection whilst improving aviation security processes.
The prohibited articles list for hand baggage and hold baggage can be found here (See attachments 1A, 4C and 5B of this document). This document catalogues the baseline for aviation threat detection in Europe.
Detection of contraband and illicit items is not only a requirement for aviation security but is also required at national borders, with international trade being a vital component of the UK’s prosperity. The vast majority of goods are legitimate and contribute to the prosperity of the UK, but protecting these borders requires interdicting a variety of illicit contents, as well as ensuring the correct duties are paid. All of this has to be carried out on a high volume of commerce and needs to be accurate and reliable to ensure minimal disruption to trade.
This competition is looking for innovative solutions which can provide step changes to the current capabilities of screening and detection of dangerous, illicit and/or contraband items. The competition is broader than previous DASA-FASS competitions and comprises multiple challenges, addressing different aspects of aviation security as well as border security. It is likely that some solutions may be applicable to more than one challenge, but this is not a necessity. Proposals should make clear which challenge(s) their solution addresses.
We are not looking for minor advancements in current technology, but we are looking for more revolutionary concepts that have the potential to be the next generation of aviation security solutions. In addition to improvements in detection we are also seeking innovative solutions which can improve the efficiency and speed of screening for items which pose a threat and/or are prohibited, contraband or illicit, without compromising security or fidelity of systems.
Although the primary focus of this competition is aviation security, we are also interested in concepts and ideas which aid the broader security environment, particularly border security.
We are not interested in solutions relating to external attacks on aircraft such as from drones or Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS), or from cyber-attacks.
4. Competition Challenges
You must address at least one of the 5 challenges, though some solutions may be applicable to more than one challenge (which should be made clear in your proposal). All bids must include consideration of the impact of any changes to any physical footprints or logistical burdens and compliance with all appropriate legal and ethical guidelines. Impact must be proportionate to the benefits the new technologies bring.
4.1 Challenge 1 – Improving the screening process for passengers, staff and their belongings
There are a range of screening solutions already in use at airport checkpoints for passengers, staff and their belongings with varying levels of screening to resolve alarms. Currently this requires the separation of the person from their belongings, and does involve time delays.
We are looking for solutions which will reduce the time spent and/or improve the experience for the people involved in this process (passengers, airline staff or screening staff) without reducing the level of confidence in the screening process. We are also interested in solutions which can facilitate intelligence-led screening of passengers and their belongings.
The solution must have minimal increase or effect on the current checkpoint ‘footprint’ or requirements and must factor in the reality of airport design and current passenger volumes.
Solutions could include, but are not limited to:
- gender agnostic screening algorithms e.g. from CCTV
- pre-checkpoint passive screening solutions
- increased use of automation across the checkpoint and systems used
- use of novel techniques and skills to aid decision support from a range of data inputs, e.g. check in data, x-ray images, conversations with security staff, behaviours etc., especially technologies which can integrate inputs from these multiple data sources
- ability to screen difficult areas of the body, especially if using non-contact techniques
- innovative ways of visualising images from data sources to aid screener assessment, such as interactive displays, Virtual Reality, CCTV with image overlays, augmented reality technology
4.2 Challenge 2 – Improving the screening process for in-flight supplies
On many flights, supplies such as food and duty-free goods are loaded into the passenger cabin of the plane prior to departure. Many of the supplies are delivered shortly before take-off and prepared offsite to be delivered airside. Offsite screening is carried out to ensure no threats are concealed, typically by visual inspection. However, this can be a time consuming process.
We are looking for solutions that will ensure that prohibited, contraband or illicit articles are not concealed within in-flight supplies, in a timely manner.
Solutions could either:
- conduct automated checking of in-flight supplies at the manufacturer’s facility after being loaded into an aircraft service trolley
- screen a vehicle loaded with aircraft service trolleys prior to entry to the airside area of an airport
Any solutions must include consideration of suitable anti-tamper technology to ensure that once screened the trolley cannot be tampered with as well as verification technologies for reliable indications of prior screening.
Solutions must consider all aspects of food safety (including freshness and product integrity) and the ‘just in time’ principle that is often applied to delivering in-flight goods within the airport environment.
4.3 Challenge 3 – Rapid screening of cargo, mail or hold bags for prohibited and contraband items
Cargo, hold baggage or mail is often preloaded into a Unit Load Device (ULD) or palletised to speed up the loading process of an aircraft and ensure that available space is used efficiently. For cargo and mail this may take place prior to the ULD or pallet being brought airside. Therefore, the ability to detect prohibited items such as weapons and contraband items (e.g. drugs, large quantities of tobacco/alcohol, precious minerals, and metals) in these areas is also of great importance.
Solutions could include, but are not limited to:
- scanning a ULD or pallet without the need for human intervention
- detecting explosive devices and/or other prohibited, contraband or illicit items within cargo (including fast parcels)
- detecting threats within assorted consignments
Solutions should assist in the screening of sealed cargo, mail or hold bags in a single operation, without the need for unpacking or human intervention.
4.4 Challenge 4 – Improving aviation security screening using a systems approach / systems integration
There are many separate security processes in airports to ensure the safety of passengers and infrastructure, however these may be supplied by different manufacturers or be on different software systems, reducing the potential for integration and efficiency.
We are looking for innovative ways of bringing together current and future solutions to create a unified approach to the security process. We are also interested in understanding human/machine teaming better in the context of detection. Human/machine teaming is the development of technology which allows the design interface to be better designed to get the most from the human user. As we develop more automated algorithms, we want to understand how it affects our staff and their detection performance, and what the cognitive load is of any new system compared to existing approaches.
We are primarily interested in proof of concepts which support advancements in screening process across the range of aviation security technology and not off-the-shelf existing solutions.
Solutions could for this challenge include, but are not limited to:
- integrating outputs from different sensors and/or security processes
- linking data, people and their belongings as they transit through the airport
- identifying opportunities within existing infrastructure to improve aviation security
- thinking beyond current checkpoints and open source architecture to allow future integration of security systems
4.5 Challenge 5 – Going beyond aviation security – improving detection and identification of contraband and illicit items at the border
With the global shift towards a more integrated transport system, greater autonomy and automation, we are looking at ways to apply solutions more broadly. This challenge is designed to complement challenges 1 to 4 by considering how technology for aviation security could support and enhance the system of approaches in other security environments, particularly at the border.
It is critical that screening methods maintain the flow of legitimate trade at the border and, where possible, mobile capability is preferred to support more agile deployment. The greater the range of contraband/illicit items a capability can work across, the more beneficial it is. It is also important that systems are future-proofed and can be easily upgraded to manage evolving threats.
We are interested in solutions which could detect and identify one or more of the following contraband/illicit items at a border:
- Controlled substances
- Taxable, illegal or high value commodities
- Fraudulent documents
- Precious metals
Within any of the following carriers:
- Fast parcels
- Air freight
- Roll on roll off (RoRo) freight
- Containerised freight
- Vehicles (including all modes of transport)
- People and their possessions
Systems should preferably be able to link into the SIGMA+ Backbone being developed by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); if your system is not going to be able to link to this you will need to specify how it could be integrated with other systems in future.
Please note, for this challenge we welcome proposals where screening technologies overlap with aviation environments and challenges 1-4 of this competition, though this is not mandatory; proposals that solely address challenge 5 are acceptable.
Canines, rodents, and other mammal based detection technologies, and human behavioural analysis techniques are specifically excluded from this challenge.
4.6 Clarification of what we want
Your proposal should include evidence of:
- theoretical development, methodological advancement or proof of concept research which can demonstrate potential for translation to practical demonstration in later phases
- an innovative or creative approach
4.7 Clarification of what we don’t want
For this competition we are not interested in proposals that:
- are an identical resubmission of a previous bid to DASA without modification
- constitute consultancy or literature reviews which just summarise the existing literature without any development
- offer no or only marginal improvements to existing security capabilities
- offer demonstrations of off-the-shelf products requiring no experimental development (unless applied in a novel way to the challenge)
- offer no real long-term prospect of integration into security capabilities
- offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions
- are focused on countering drones or MANPADS
- are focused on detecting or addressing aviation threats when already in flight
- are primarily focused on scanning or detecting items outside the scope of these challenges e.g. people trafficking
It is important that over the lifetime of DASA competitions, ideas are matured and accelerated towards appropriate end-users to enhance capability. How long this takes will be dependent on the nature and starting point of the innovation. Early identification and appropriate engagement with potential end-users during the competition are essential.
All proposals to DASA should articulate the expected development in Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the potential solution over the lifetime of the proposal and how this relates to improved operational capability against the current known (or presumed) baseline. Your deliverables should be designed to evidence these aspects with the aim of making it as easy as possible for potential collaborators to identify the innovative elements of your proposal in order to consider routes for exploitation. DASA Innovation Partners are available to support you with the security context. Further information on TRLs, is available on our website.
You may wish to include some of the following information, where known and dependent on the maturity of your proposed solution, to help the assessors understand your approach to exploitation:
- the intended security users of your final product and whether you have previously engaged with them, their procurement arm or their research and development arm
- awareness of, and alignment to, any existing end-user procurement programmes
- the anticipated benefits (for example, in cost, time, improved capability) that your solution will provide to the user
- whether it is likely to be a standalone product or integrated with other technologies or platforms
- expected additional work required beyond the end of the contract to develop an operationally deployable commercial product (for example, ‘scaling up’ for manufacture, cyber security, integration with existing technologies, environmental operating conditions)
- additional future applications and wider markets for exploitation
- wider collaborations and networks you have already developed or any additional relationships you see as a requirement to support exploitation
- how your product could be tested in a representative environment
- any specific legal, ethical, commercial or regulatory considerations for exploitation
DASA will engage with successful suppliers to support the development of the project exploitation plan.
6. How to apply
Suppliers are requested to submit an outline of their proposal before submitting a full proposal. Outline proposals will be read by the FASS team, who will advise on the alignment to the competition scope. The outline proposal is not a mandatory step but is highly recommended to ensure that resources are focused on the most relevant proposals.
Both outline and full proposals must be submitted via the DASA submission service, for which you will be required to register.
6.1 Outline proposal
Outline Proposals must be submitted to the competition name ”(Outline proposal) Future Screening for Aviation and Borders)” within the DASA submission service.
Please write no more than 250 words against each of these criteria within your submission, in order for the FASS team to indicate that your Outline proposal is in line with the scope of the themed competition:
1.Summary of your proposed solution
- this may include prior knowledge, background
2.Concept of operation
- how you see this fitting into the end user environment
- what benefit(s) will it bring
- which challenge(s) is it addressing
3.The feasibility of the innovation
- the maturity of the solution now, where it will get to through this funding, and time scales
- any significant risk(s)
In the ‘Finance and delivery’ section of your outline proposal we only need illustrative figures; there is no need to fully cost your idea at this outline proposal stage.
Outline proposals must be submitted prior to midday (BST) 10 June 2019.
DASA will aim to provide an indication that your Outline proposal is in line with the scope of the themed competition within 7 working days of submission. We strongly recommend not submitting your full proposal until this feedback is received.
Regardless of our response, this will not affect your eligibility to submit a proposal.
6.2 Full proposal
Full proposals must be submitted by 1 July 2019 at midday (BST).
The estimated funding pot of £4.5million is expected to place a number of Framework Agreements with a duration until 28 February 2021. Initial Tasks(s) under Item 1 will be awarded for a maximum duration of 6 months initially via an individual Work Package/Task (as described in the Framework Terms and Conditions). In accordance with DEFCON 630 the Authority shall not be bound to place any follow-on Tasks thereafter.
When submitting a proposal, you must complete all sections of the online form, including an appropriate level of technical information to allow assessment of the bid and a completed finances section. If you do not wish to bid for any follow on work beyond the initial period please add ‘N/A’ to the ‘Potential future workpackages’ section.
Please include your Firm Rates for Item 2 as specified in Annex F of the Framework Agreement Terms and Conditions as an attachment to your proposal.
For the first period of 6 months (or less) of funding, your proposal must be fully costed and a project plan with clear milestones and deliverables must be provided. These deliverables must be well defined and designed to provide evidence of progress against the project plan; they must include a final report. The total value of all work proposed for the initial period of up to 6 months must be included in the ‘Finance and delivery’ section of your bid; the maximum limit of liability for the contract will be based on this value.
Any proposed additional work beyond the initial period of up to 6 months should be outlined within the full proposal under the ‘Innovation details’ - ‘Potential future tasking’ section to include approximate timings, costs and deliverables. Note, costings for additional work should not be inserted into the ‘Finance and delivery’ section but must be covered within the ‘Innovation detail’s section under ‘Potential future tasking’. All deliverables, for both the initial 6 months and follow on work, must complete by the 28 February 2021.
A resourcing plan must also be provided that identifies, where possible, the nationalities of those proposed Research Workers that you intend working on this project. In the event of proposals being recommended for funding, DASA reserves the right to undertake due diligence checks including the clearance of proposed Research Workers. Please note that this process will take as long as necessary and could take up to 6 weeks in some cases for non-UK nationals.
You must identify any ethical / legal / regulatory factors within your proposal and how the associated risks will be managed, including break points in the project if approvals are not received. Ministry of Defence Research and Ethics Committee (MODREC) approvals can take up to 3 months therefore you should plan your work programme accordingly. Further details are available in the DASA guidance. If you are unsure if your proposal will need to apply for MODREC approval, then please contact DASA for further guidance.
In addition, requirements for access to Government Furnished Assets (GFA) should be included in your proposal. It should not be assumed that test data sets from government will be provided as part of this competition so proposals must be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology through your own resources or costed as part of the proposal.
Your proposal must complete all activities and deliverables within the timescales set. Proposals with any deliverables (including final report) outside the agreed timeline will be rejected as non-compliant.
On completion of the initial contract, consideration will be given to the following to decide whether a further package of work will be requested to develop your solution further:
- Successful completion of the previous stage of the work including completion of all deliverables
- Provision of a detailed project plan, deliverables and financial breakdown to support the next stage of the work
- A case for why the project should continue to be funded, including but not limited to evidence of the following:
- where the project has reached against the original milestones
- next steps
- risks and issues
- end user benefits
- advancement in security capability
- exploitation route and plans
A project stage review meeting between the supplier, the technical partner, FASS Programme and DASA (an end user adviser may also be involved) will be used to review this evidence. The FASS team in conjunction with the technical partner and DASA will base the decision on this meeting and other relevant information.
Additional work packages will be funded under individual framework agreements, allowing further tasking requests to be made which will continue development from your initial contracted work.
Full proposals must include costed participation at the following DASA events:
- a kick-off / initiation meeting
- a project stage review meeting
- a showcase event in early 2020 and March 2021 (projects that are tasked beyond March 2020 will be required to attend a further showcase event in early 2021)
All events will be held in the UK.
Failure to provide any of the above listed will automatically render your proposal non-compliant.
6.3 Public facing information
When submitting your full proposal, you will be required to include a proposal title and a short abstract. If your proposal is funded, the title and abstract you provide will be used by DASA, and other government departments as appropriate, to describe the project and its intended outcomes and benefits. It will be used for inclusion at DASA events and be included in documentation such as brochures for the event. This proposal title will also be published in the DASA transparency data on gov.uk, along with your company name, organisation type e.g SME and the amount of funding received.
6.4 How your proposal will be assessed
All full proposals will be checked for compliance with the competition document and may be rejected before full assessment if they do not comply. Only those full proposals which demonstrate their compliance against the competition scope and DASA criteria will be taken forward to full assessment.
|The proposal outlines how it meets the scope of the competition||Within scope (Pass) / Out of scope (Fail)|
|The proposal fully explains in all sections of the DASA submission service how it meets the DASA criteria||Pass / Fail|
|The proposal clearly details a financial plan, a project plan and a resourcing plan to complete the work for the initial period of up to 6 months||Pass / Fail|
|The proposal identifies the need (or not) for MODREC approval||Pass / Fail|
|The proposal identifies any GFA required||Pass / Fail|
|The maximum duration (including delivery of a report) does not exceed 6 months||Pass / Fail|
|The proposal confirms Unqualified Acceptance of the Framework Agreement Terms and Conditions||Pass / Fail|
|The proposal details Firm Rates for Item 2 as specified in Annex F of the Framework Agreement Terms and Conditions||Pass/Fail|
Proposals will then be assessed against the standard DASA assessment criteria by subject matter experts from Dstl, DfT, HO, DHS, Border Force and other government departments. You will not have the opportunity to comment on assessors comments.
DASA reserves the right to disclose on a confidential basis any information it receives from bidders during the procurement process (including information identified by the bidder as Commercially Sensitive Information in accordance with the provisions of this competition) to any third party engaged by DASA for the specific purpose of evaluating or assisting DASA in the evaluation of the bidder’s proposal, subject to appropriate confidentiality agreements being put in place. In providing such information the bidder consents to such disclosure.
Further guidance on how your proposal is assessed is available on the DASA website.
After assessment, proposals will be discussed internally at a Decision Conference where, based on the assessments, budget and wider strategic considerations, a decision will be made on the proposals that are recommended for funding.
Proposals that are unsuccessful will receive brief feedback after the Decision Conference.
6.5 Things you should know about DASA contracts
Please read the DASA terms and conditions which contain important information for suppliers. For this competition we will be using a bespoke framework contract.
For the avoidance of any doubt, we are not using the DASA short-form Contract.
Funded projects will be allocated a technical partner as a technical point of contact. In addition, the DASA team will work with you to support delivery and exploitation.
We will use deliverables from DASA contracts in accordance with our rights detailed in the contract terms and conditions.
Please note when a proposal is deemed fundable but sufficient funding is not available we reserve the right to to keep your proposal in reserve. If more money becomes available subsequently we may ask whether you still wish to undertake the contract under the same terms. Your official DASA feedback will indicate if your proposal was fundable or not.
|Dial-in||13 May 2019|
|Pre bookable 1-2-1 telecom sessions||13 May 2019 (further dates may be released if resource are available)|
|Outline Proposal submission closes||10 June 2019 midday (BST)|
|Competition closes||1 July 2019 midday (BST)|
|Contracting||Aim to start August/September|
|Kick-off meetings (London)||19 September 2019 (subject to change)|
|Project Showcase||March 2020 and March 2021|
7.1 Supporting events
13 May 2019 (AM) – A dial-in session providing further detail on the problem space and a chance to ask questions in an open forum. If you would like to participate, please register on the Eventbrite page.
13 May 2019 (PM) – A series of 20 minute one-to-one teleconference sessions, giving you the opportunity to ask specific questions. If you would like to participate, please register on the Eventbrite page.
19 September 2019 (subject to change) – A kick-off meeting where you will give a presentation on your project to key stakeholders, detailing your solution and the deliverables you will provide. You will be provided with the template exploitation plan ahead of this date and are expected to attend the kick-off meeting with a provisional draft to support discussion.
Early 2020 and 2021 – A project showcase which will be attended by key government stakeholders where you will display your project outcomes.
Competition queries, including on process, application, technical, commercial and intellectual property aspects should be sent to email@example.com, quoting the competition title.
While all reasonable efforts will be made to answer queries, DASA reserves the right to impose management controls if volumes of queries restrict fair access of information to all potential suppliers.