DASA Launches Second Stage of ‘Don’t Blow It!’ Competition

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is part of the UK Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), run by the Ministry of Defence. The Accelerator funds proof-of-concept research that offers a high potential benefit to defence and security in the UK.

DASA has launched the second phase of a competition designed to develop novel and innovative technologies and approaches to access, disable and/or irreversibly destroy chemical and biological munitions, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and bulk agents in challenging environments. It is joint funded by the UK Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense, and operates under an existing memorandum of understanding between both nations.

Under the Chemical Weapons Convention all member states are obligated to destroy any chemical weapons they own or possess, or that they abandoned on the territory of another member state. Whilst destruction technologies exist, they are not appropriate for use in all circumstances.

This competition therefore aims to identify novel technologies or existing technologies that can be used in a novel way to address this issue. These improved capabilities will enable a greater breadth of threats in a wider range of circumstances to be addressed, allowing them to be disabled or destroyed more quickly and efficiently.

There are three main areas of interest for this competition:

Access – How to gain access to munitions, IEDs and bulk containers without relying on the original design features, such as filling ports, which may or may not be present.

Disable – How to prevent munitions, IEDs and bulk agent being used as intended either temporarily or permanently.

Destroy – How to permanently and irreversibly destroy munitions, IEDs and bulk agents.

Whilst proposals addressing a single challenge may be considered, preference will be given to those proposals developing a system solution and addressing multiple challenges. Work for phase 2 must be at technology readiness level (TRL) 3 upwards and will need to reach higher maturity than work funded in phase 1. Projects should develop full-scale prototypes ready for testing on agent simulants and munition surrogates.

This competition has £1.5 million to fund up to three proposals. Submissions are welcome from all organisation types and individuals, with no nationality restrictions. It is not compulsory to have been involved in phase 1 to apply; however, applicants should familiarise themselves with the previous competition and DASA’s transparency data of who was funded.

Applications should be submitted by the 6 January 2020 deadline.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.