DASA Launches Competition to Deliver Representative Human Terrain Capabilities

Funding for proposals with the potential to transform the British Army’s training systems to deliver a more realistic representation of the real world.

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 facilitate accelerating delivery of the best solutions.

DASA has launched the Populating the World of Training Competition to help the British Army transform its training systems to deliver a more realistic representation of the real world. The competition is funded by the British Army in support of the Future Collective Training System (FCTS).

Proposals should help to deliver a credible, complex and representative human terrain to effectively train British Army personnel and other Land Forces operating in the land environment. British Army doctrine describes this human terrain as A3E: Audiences, Actors, Adversaries and Enemies.

The competition seeks innovations that deliver scalable, configurable, consistent and seamless representation of A3E behaviours across the Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) environments. The competition is not prescriptive; any technology, system or service that can deliver an element of this A3E capability will be considered.

The Competition has the following five challenge areas.

  • Challenge 1: A flexible human terrain – This challenge area seeks innovations that represent the human terrain, such as threat representations that are consistent, both within and across the LVC environments.
  • Challenge 2: A credible suite of players – This challenge area seeks innovations that enable the capability to test the training audience against a broad range of differentiated threats, from hostile civilians to organised insurgents and traditional state actors.
  • Challenge 3: Representative threat systems – This challenge area seeks innovations that help represent different threats, from peer + threats, to threats below the threshold of conflict across the physical, digital, political and social environments.
  • Challenge 4: Remote and Autonomous Systems – This challenge area seeks innovations that help represent increasing autonomy in the environment, such as Remote and Autonomous Systems (RAS) and layered intelligence.
  • Challenge 5: A credible Information Environment – This challenge area seeks innovations to help represent a realistic and contested cyber and electromagnetic environment.

DASA is seeking innovations:

  • Ranging from TRLs 3 to 6, that help deliver seamless training irrespective of the training environment, so the experience of Live troops with their boots on the ground is as credible, and challenging, as the effects of that same experience has on troops participating in the Virtual environment.
  • That augment live assets, such as role players, vehicles, weapons and systems.
  • Such as behavioural models and methods for rapid reconfiguration that make computer-generated forces more credible.
  • That deliver a credible challenge, such as a contested electromagnetic spectrum, remote and autonomous systems, and realistic threat capabilities.

Proposals must not exceed 12 months in duration.

Submissions are welcome from the private sector, academia, individuals (ie sole traders) and Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs). There are no nationality restrictions.

Collaborations between organisations are encouraged. Interested applicants are invited to submit a short survey (available until 21 April 2023 (12:00 BST)) to collect details of those wishing to explore collaboration possibilities.

The total funding available for the competition is £2.845 million (ex VAT). Multiple proposals will be supported with values between £100,000 and £300,000, but higher proposal values that provide value for money (VFM) may be considered.

Applications should be submitted by the 2 May 2023 (12:00 BST) deadline.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)