Competition: Engineering Biology for Defence and Security

This Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition seeks proposals for novel and innovative high risk-high reward projects finishing at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3/4. The technologies developed will be based on innovative engineering biology solutions that address defense challenges in one or more of the three topics:

  • Materials
  • Power and Energy
  • Sensing

This competition will involve cutting edge, multidisciplinary research through the application of engineering biology tools and techniques, using novel research approaches and the discovery of new knowledge to address defense challenges.

What innovations are we looking for?

Synthetic biology is the design and fabrication of biological components and systems that do not already exist in the natural world. The process of taking synthetic biology concepts and turning them into real world solutions is engineering biology. In common with most emerging technologies, the potential applications of bio-based approaches are broad. Engineering biology has the potential to address some of the more intractable problems facing the defense and security of the UK, and opens new avenues in protecting the armed forces and civilian populations.

Proposals should address at least one of the challenges, could address more than one of the challenges, but do not have to address all the challenges.

Total funding available

This competition document covers Phase 1 of the requirement only. The total funding available for the whole Phase 1 of the competition is £ 1.5m (ex VAT). This funding will be split across two 12 month phases, Phase 1a and a costed optional Phase 1b, with a maximum of £ 750k available per sub-phase. There is no upper-limit per proposal for this competition, but we are expecting to fund around 7-8 proposals in Phase 1a, approximately £ 100k for each phase of work (per proposal).

Additional funding for further phases to increase TRL may be available. If there is a future phase, it will be run as a separate future DASA competition and be open to applications from all innovators and not just those who submitted successful Phase 1 bids.

Submission deadline

Midday on Thursday 25th August 2022

Where do I submit my proposal?

Via the DASA Online Submission Service for which you will require an account.

Only proposals submitted through the DASA Online Submission Service will be accepted.

You will be required to enter your organization’s DUNS number prior to submission of a full proposal on the DASA Online Submission Service. Please allow enough time to do this prior to submission.

Lookup or Register for a DUNS Number here. Organizations registered outside of the United Kingdom can obtain their DUNS number here

You must not submit any information classified above Official. If you wish to add supporting information which might be Official-Sensitive or Secret you should contact DASA in advance and we will discuss solutions with you.

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