Real-time tracking for firefighter safety

17 October 2018

ORGANISATIONS CAN apply for a share of up to £1.25 million to develop location tracking technology and keep fire crews safe during live incidents.

Every year the UK fire and rescue services deal with more than 55,000 incidents inside buildings and other structures. One of the struggles they face is keeping track of where firefighters are during real emergencies in hostile environments.

This competition has up to £1.25 million for new technologies that can be used in the field to give accurate data on where firefighters are at all times.

It is a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The funding is available through the GovTech Catalyst, a £20 million fund that helps the public sector to work with innovative technology providers and improve public services.

The competition has 2 phases, with phase 1 having £250,000 including VAT to fund up to five feasibility study projects. These studies must deliver a detailed design package that includes technical and commercial specifications for the technology.

Phase 2 will award the two best projects with further contracts for prototype development and evaluation. There is up to £1 million including VAT available.

To be useful to the emergency services, projects need to demonstrate digital technology that can be put into action straight away to give a full picture of what’s happening.

They must:

  • be instantly deployable at unfamiliar locations
  • operate on a self-contained mobile secure local network
  • provide real-time data about a firefighter’s horizontal and vertical location, including the room they’re in and the floor
  • allow seamless sharing across multiple agencies, using local and remote software platforms
  • present real-time data in 3D using augmented or holographic technology

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 15 October 2018 and the deadline for registration is at midday on 21 November 2018
  • organisations of any size can apply
  • a briefing event will be held on 24 October 2018 in Swansea where organisations can find out more information and learn how to make a quality application
  • total project costs for phase 1 can be up to £50,000 including VAT and last up to 3 months
  • total project costs for phase 2 can be up to £500,000 including VAT and last up to 12 months
  • successful applicants will be contacted by 18 January 2019
  • projects must start by 15 February 2019