DASA Competition: Engineering Biology for Defence and Security Phase 2

Closing Date: 17/01/2024

The second stage of a DASA competition to solve a range of Defence and Security challenges and enhance capability by applying engineering biology approaches.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is part of the UK Government’s Ministry of Defence. The Accelerator helps public and private innovators develop their ideas into exploitable products and services for defence and security customers, and experiments with novel methodology and innovative approaches to help accelerate the delivery of the best solutions.

DASA is running the second stage of its Engineering Biology for Defence and Security competition with funding from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and working in cooperation with the US Department of Defense. The competition will support novel and innovative high risk-high reward proposals for innovative technologies that solve a range of Defence and Security challenges and enhance capability by applying engineering biology approaches.

The competition will support cutting edge, multidisciplinary research through the application of engineering biology tools and techniques, using novel research approaches and the discovery of new knowledge.

Solutions do not have to be exclusively engineering biology, but must contain synthetic biology as a core component of any proposed solution. Various definitions of engineering biology are acceptable, but exploiting bioinspiration alone is not in scope. Solutions must reflect a Defence and Security-relevant need, but do not need to be exclusive to Defence and Security.

Submitted proposals should choose to target one or more of the below challenge areas:

  • Challenge 1: Power and energy: This challenge area seeks concepts that can offer a step change in existing power source and energy storage solutions for military applications.
  • Challenge 2: Materials for defence: This challenge area seeks materials for a range of uses in Defence and Security. These materials could be relevant to a range of challenges including protection against physical attack, survival in extreme environments and development of generation-after-next capability, but excludes exposure to chemical and biological agents.
  • Challenge 3: Sensing: Sensing and sensor technologies are a fundamental enabler of Defence and Security activities. This challenge area seeks technology that moves beyond traditional analytical sensors. In addition to sensing devices, integrated response functions are also desirable.

There should be a plan to take the work to at least Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 for ‘Materials’ proposals, and at least TRL3 for both ‘Power and Energy’ and ‘Sensing’ proposals by the end of the end of Phase 2.

Funding will be awarded for up to 12 months. Proposals must include a clear plan to complete the work by no later than 31 March 2025.

Funding body Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
Maximum value Discretionary
Reference ID S25751
Category Biotechnology and Biology
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Science and Technology
Fund or call Fund