Defence and Security Accelerator: how your proposal is assessed

After you submit a proposal to the Defence and Security Accelerator, it’ll be assessed by subject matter experts. This guidance explains how.

Proposals must now be submitted via our new submission service.

The only way to submit a proposal to the Defence and Security Accelerator is online. Please register for a new submission service account here.

Any proposals you submitted to DASA before 01 June 2018 can be viewed here via our old submission portal.

Your Defence and Security Accelerator proposal will be assessed by experts from Dstl, MOD and sometimes wider UK government using 3 criteria. Detailed guidance of what to include in your proposal to help you perform well against the criteria is provided in each section of your online submission. What we’re looking for in each competition is explained in our competition pages.

We reserve the right to reject a proposal before assessment if it’s outside of the Defence and Security Accelerator’s scope or doesn’t meet minimum requirements. These are described in the guidance in the online submission service, such as being too long, having an obvious lack of scientific evidence or not providing any clear, meaningful deliverables or is a resubmission with no obvious changes to the original proposal. This is to ensure the best use of public money for assessing Defence and Security Accelerator proposals.

For each proposal, a panel of assessors score against each of the criteria, and a moderator then makes a recommendation of whether to fund it or not. This recommendation is then subject to internal peer review before final decisions are made. We also consider relevant programme priorities and value for money to the UK taxpayer when deciding which proposals to fund.

Baseline Assessment Criteria

The 3 baseline assessment criteria are below.

1. Desirable

DASA funds innovations that solve defence and security challenges and for which there is clear support from the users or sponsors who will exploit them.

You should look out for things like the proposal’s alignment with a strategic need or challenge, who would benefit from the innovation. Evidence of sponsor or user buy-in for the idea is important. Ideas that are useful for both defence and security should be acknowledged.

2. Feasible

You should assess whether the idea has a good chance of success technically.

You are asked to consider whether the proposal is scientifically, technically and practically feasible. Also, how innovative the idea is, and how it compares with potential alternatives. A clear and logical plan, backed by relevant expertise, capability and appropriate resources needs to be present.

3. Viable

You should assess for evidence that the idea can be delivered within the project scope and timelines and has some realistic prospects beyond.

Look for evidence of a robust project plan which identifies any links or dependencies between work packages and milestones, and which clearly identifies measurable deliverables. We are looking at overall costs and value for money. Finally, please look at the proposer’s plans to take their innovation forward beyond the project end.

Additional guidance

The 3 baseline criteria apply to all our competitions, unless stated in the competition document for that competition. Further guidance on what we expect your proposal to cover in each of these categories is provided in the competition document for the competition you are applying for. In addition, this guidance is available in proposal submission form used to submit your proposal via our submission service.

After you submit

You’ll be able to track the progress of your application through the submission service on your dashboard. You’ll be notified by email when we’ve made a decision on whether or not to fund your proposal.

If you’re successful, our commercial team will be in touch to get contracting started.

If you’re not successful this time, we’ll give you written feedback to help you understand why. You’ll also see a number in your dashboard for each of the criteria above ranging from 1 for unacceptable to 4 for outstanding.


Please don’t resubmit an idea that’s been unsuccessful in gaining Defence and Security Accelerator funding previously, unless we’ve specifically encouraged a resubmission in our feedback to you.

If you are resubmitting an idea, you need to make it clear where you’ve made changes to address the feedback provided.

If it’s not clear that you’ve made changes to address the feedback, we’ll reject the proposal before assessment. This is to ensure the best use of public money for assessing Defence and Security Accelerator proposals.

Defence and Security Accelerator

Building 5
Porton Down


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Published 8 December 2016
Last updated 20 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. We have changed our assessment criteria for future competitions.
  2. First published.