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Innovation call for technology to stop armed or violent offenders issued by DASA

20 August 2020

THE DEFENCE and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched an innovation competition to develop new capabilities for police and law enforcement agencies designed to stop armed or violent offenders with the minimal necessary force from distance.

Advancing Less Lethal Weapons seeks proposals for innovative technologies from industry and academia that can temporarily stop a violent or armed subject to prevent the escalation of conflict or the destruction of property.

The technologies would allow the use of less lethal means as an alternative to firearms in some scenarios, giving police more versatile and effective options to defuse dangerous situations in order to keep the public safe without having to resort to lethal force.

An initial £500,000 funding is available for innovators with up to £500,000 additional funding for a later phase of the project.

The scope of this competition, which is run on behalf of the Home Office, includes looking at technologies that have not been deployed operationally before and investigating combinations of technologies that may provide better solutions.

The proposed technologies would need to reach a distance of 50 metres to meet the police service requirement, while up to 70 metres could also meet potential military requirements. The ability to mark a subject in order to ‘identify’ them at a later stage would also be desirable.

There are two tracks to the competition, one looking at low maturity technologies and the other at medium maturity technologies. Full details of the competition’s scope and tracks can be found in the competition document.

The competition closes for submissions at midday BST on Thursday 15 October.

This funded call follows on from a market exploration which was conducted by DASA on behalf of the Home Office and the police service late last year. The previous call focused on near market and mature solutions for similar policing problems. In contrast, this call is looking for technologies at technical readiness levels between 3 and 7.

A dial-in session will provide further detail on the competition and a chance to ask questions in an open forum. Interested parties should register on the Eventbrite page.

A series of 20-minute one-to-one teleconference sessions, again offering interested parties the opportunity to ask specific questions, will take place on 9 and 24 September.