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Do you have an innovative idea to enhance the detection of trace explosives using novel, lightweight, bioassay systems?

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch a new Themed Competition called ‘Small, Lightweight, Trace Explosives Detector’. This competition is jointly funded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the US Department of Defense (DoD) and seeks proposals for the development of novel, lightweight, bioassay systems for the detection of trace explosives to benefit end-users working in UK and US Defence and Security.

Trace detection systems allow end-users to detect and identify non-visible (trace) levels of materials from surfaces and/or items relating to Defence and Security, eg: resulting from a suspected improvised explosive device. Current trace detection equipment, such as systems used in airports, have a significant size, weight and power (SWaP) footprint. In addition, pocket-sized systems such as chemical test kits that are used for presumptive identification have much lower SWaP, but do not perform as well as the larger systems.

Detection systems that use biological assays have low SWaP and can be used in some applications for sensing molecular explosives, however to date they have not been optimised for trace detection of explosives. Biological Assay in this context refers to the use of biologically derived or biologically inspired reagents or methods that can be used to identify and/or detect a chemical. In this case the assay would be used to achieve detection of trace / sub-visible quantities of molecular explosive targets collected from a surface.

The primary aim of this competition is to develop innovative platforms for the trace detection of explosives using biologically derived detection strategies. We are looking for innovative solutions that will incorporate modern sampling and reader formats into a platform that is capable of the trace detection of initially three explosive materials with the potential for future iterations of the platform to detect up to 10 explosives and / or other small molecule threats.

Launch Q&A Webinar: 8 February 2024, 3pm (GMT)

This webinar will provide more information on the challenge areas and how to submit a proposal. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions in the Q&A.

Register now on the Eventbrite Page

1-2-1 Sessions: 15 February 2024 & 20 February 2024

A series of 20 minute one-to-one teleconference sessions, giving you the opportunity to ask specific questions.

Register for a session now on the Eventbrite Pages:

15 February 2024

20 February 2024

Read the full competition document and submit a proposal. 

competition DASA explosives SWaP

Post written by: Vicky Maggiani

Vicky has worked in media for over 20 years and has a wealth of experience in editing and creating copy for a variety of sectors.


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