Beyond batteries: contracts available for new power generation

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of £750,000 to investigate new technologies that generate power for robotic and autonomous systems

Programme:     SBRI

Award:     Up to £80,000

Opens: 10th Nov 2016

Closes: 1st Feb 2017

! This scheme is now closed

Competition information

  • the competition is open to any organisation and is for fully funded development contracts
  • phase 1 projects are expected to be worth between £40,000 and £80,000 and to last up to 9 months
  • a briefing event for potential applicants will be held on 1 December 2016
  • a webinar will be held on 5 December 2016

Technology challenges

This CDE themed competition is looking for new technologies to deliver power for a number of military applications including but not limited to RAS and the dismounted soldier.

The CDE want proposals for solutions to the challenge that are cost effective, reliable and robust. They’re  interested in portable electrical energy delivery systems that will run for days rather than minutes and provide high density energy (to achieve 700 watts per hour per kg (Wh/kg)) but that are also small and lightweight. They are not discounting a disposable or single use system, but it should be noted that any such system must be non-hazardous and environmentally acceptable. Despite the recognised benefits, operations using autonomous systems are limited owing to an absence of lightweight power systems in the 100 to 300W range. They’re looking for innovative engineering technologies and solutions to overcome this challenge of electrical power storage and delivery.

Phase 1

The CDE ARE looking for proposals where the complete system (including fuel and fuel storage if required) can achieve a target specific energy of at least 700 Wh/kg for 24 to 48 hours at representative power levels of 50 to 300 W.

Phase 2

In phase 2 of the competition, the CDE aim to stretch this target, so your proposal should also provide an indication of how your technology could be further optimised to provide specific energies in excess of 1000 Wh/kg and ideally achieving 1500 Wh/kg.




This competition is part of a wider Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) Disruptive Capability research project – which will feed into programmes such as Autonomous Systems Underpinning Research (ASUR).

All projects funded at phase 1 through this competition will be expected to take part in a networking event and a presentation day together with the other funded organisations. These events will provide an invaluable opportunity to meet other participants and discuss potential collaboration, with the intention of enabling a viable system demonstration at the end of the phase 2 activity. You should cost attendance at these events into your proposal.

As a deliverable of the phase 1 project, successful bidders will be expected to produce a fully costed proposal for a phase 2 project. The CDE aim to take forward a number of the most successful outputs from phase 1 projects for phase 2 funding. Only bidders funded at phase 1 qualify for entry into phase 2 of this competition.

Important funding information

The CDE won’t accept proposals over £100,000 and it’s more likely at this stage that a larger number of lower-value proposals (with values in the range £40,000 to £80,000) will be funded than a small number of higher-value proposals. Total funding available for phase 1 of this competition is up to £750,000. Proposals should focus on a short, sharp, proof-of-concept phase with research lasting up to 9 months in duration, with deliverables completed by the end of January 2018.

Proposals should include a descriptive scoping for a longer programme (phase 2 onwards) of any duration, but the proposal should be clearly partitioned with a costed proof-of-concept stage, which is the focus of this CDE themed competition.