Guidance

Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) Open Call for Innovation

The Open Call is looking for innovative ideas on how we can improve the defence and security of the UK. Your idea could be a concept, product or service, at various levels of maturity.

Documents

Open Call for Innovation

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Details

We are making improvements to the DASA Submission Service, which means we need to delay the launch of Open Call Cycle 3. Open Call Cycle 3 will be available from midday on Monday 11 June 2018.

Because we are moving to a new system, we recommend you do not commence drafting proposals in the current Submission Service, but prepare them off line so they can be uploaded when Cycle 3 opens on our new system.

The only way to apply is online.

What the Open Call seeks

The Open Call is looking for innovative ideas to improve the defence and security of the UK. Your idea could be a concept, technology, product or service, and bids are sought at various levels of maturity. Our Emerging Innovations category is for less mature innovations, and our Rapid Impact Innovations category is for innovations that are more developed.

The Open Call welcomes innovations that address defence or security challenges, and some innovations may solve challenges common to both. Our defence and security customers have slightly different requirements, outlined briefly below.

Defence requirements

Defence innovations can apply to any part of defence. Proposals of dual use to both defence and security are also welcomed.

Security requirements

Security innovations are those which are targeted at preventing terrorism, disrupting serious and organised crime, or ensuring a safe and secure travel system. Examples of particular security themes include:

  • protecting our borders, critical national infrastructure, and crowded places
  • reducing the vulnerability of the transport network, including in particular new aviation security solutions
  • strengthening the capabilities of law enforcement agencies and security services, emergency services, and the private sector

It’s expected that some proposals will be relevant to both defence and security.

DASA Open Call for Innovation: Emerging Innovations

In this category, we are encouraging the submission of proposals across a wide range of technology areas with the aim of finding new and novel opportunities to be exploited across defence and/or security.

How to submit

Submit a proposal into the Open Call Emerging Innovations category.

Overall requirement

Emerging innovations are viewed as those which will deliver a proof of concept at around Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or 4. Proof of concept might include component and/or sub-system validation in laboratory-style environment. We do not fund feasibility studies. Projects are expected to start at TRL 2 or 3, which means the basic concept has been formulated and the underpinning technological principles observed at the outset. Successful projects may be candidates for follow-on funding in the Rapid Impact Innovation category, although other funding opportunities may be available.

Defence

Defence proposals are sought for projects lasting between 3 and 9 months and costing between £30,000 and £90,000. A total of £3 million is available from the Ministry of Defence research programme to fund these ideas.

Security

For security proposals, no maximum time period or funding limit is specified, and all proposals will be considered. However, as a guide, it is expected that the majority of successful security projects will cost less than £150,000 and last between 3 and 12 months.

Submit a proposal into the Open Call Emerging Innovations category.

DASA Open Call for Innovation: Rapid Impact Innovation

Proposals in this category are encouraged for projects which have a realistic prospect of achieving an impact within a 3 year time frame from the start of the project.

How to submit

To submit a proposal in this category, please contact us at accelerator@dstl.gov.uk explaining that you would like to submit a Rapid Impact Innovation proposal. Include the email address you use for your Submission Service account. Once we have this information, your bidder dashboard will be updated, and you will see a new ‘Phase 2’ tab on your dashboard. Click on the tab, and you will have the option to submit a Rapid Impact Innovation proposal.

Overall requirement

In this category, there’s an expectation that proposals will be funded only if there is a strong customer requirement and capability need for the idea. Suppliers will need to ensure there is positive user interest in the idea before submitting a proposal. Proposals could be pre-sifted from the competition prior to full assessment if this is not apparent.

To assist with this, suppliers are requested to discuss their ideas with a DASA Innovation Partner before preparing a proposal. From Cycle 3 onwards, you will be required to do so before submitting a proposal. The Innovation Partners are an important part of the DASA supplier outreach team, and they can offer advice and broker introductions with customers and government stakeholders from across defence and security. If you would like to speak with an Innovation Partner, please contact us on accelerator@dstl.gov.uk.

Defence

For defence proposals, project funding requests of no more than £250,000 are welcomed, although lower cost proposals will be viewed favourably. Further, to demonstrate an impact for defence within 3 years, your project is expected to output a pilot of the capability as the main deliverable.

This pilot should be at a limited scale, in the hands of end users, and in the context or environment in which it is expected that they would use the solution. To be successful it will also have to provide evidence of how other MOD business and capability requirements, such as the Defence Lines of Development (DLOD), could be satisfied should the project to be taken forward after the pilot.

The assessment and decision making process for defence proposals will include a pitch panel, where down-selected companies will be asked to pitch their idea to a panel of senior stakeholders before a final decision is made.

Security

For security-related innovations, no funding limit is specified. However, as a guide, it is expected that the majority of successful security projects will cost less than £150,000. Funding is available from a variety of security departments across government, and proposals at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 and above are encouraged.

What happens when you submit your proposal

After an initial sifting process, experts from Dstl, MOD, the Home Office, the Department for Transport and wider UK government will assess your proposal. Read more about assessment and decision-making processes.

Competition results are normally released on or shortly after the decision date shown in the table below.

If you are not successful, we’ll give you brief written feedback within a few weeks of the applicable decision date. Feedback will be made available to you via your bidder dashboard.

If you’re successful, our commercial team will be in touch shortly after the decision date to get contracting started. Once you’re on contract, both DASA staff and a Technical Partner will support and advise you throughout the period of your project.

To find out more information, you can:

Read more about the DASA terms and conditions.

Contact us by email accelerator@dstl.gov.uk for advice.

Competition closing dates

The Open Call for Innovation runs 6 cycles per year. Assessment starts the day after the competition cycle closing date.

A list of the cycle closing dates for 2018/2019 is below. Proposals must be submitted through the Accelerator Submission Service by midday on the closing date shown.

Cycle Competition closes @midday Decision date Feedback released
1 19 March 2018 31 May 2018 28 June 2018
2 21 May 2018 6 August 2018 6 September 2018
3 31 August 2018 31 October 2018 28 November 2018
4 15 October 2018 20 December 2018 31 January 2019
5 4 January 2019 12 March 2019 12 April 2019
6 1 March 2019 30 May 2019 28 June 2019
Published 21 May 2018
Last updated 25 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. We are making improvements to the DASA Submission Service, which means we need to delay the launch of Open Call Cycle 3. Open Call Cycle 3 will be available from midday on Monday 11 June 2018. Because we are moving to a new system, we recommend you do not commence drafting proposals in the current Submission Service, but prepare them off line so they can be uploaded when Cycle 3 opens on our new system.
  2. First published.