DASA: Reducing Cyber Risk Across Defence

Key Features

This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition is funded by the Cyber Resilience Programme (CRP) in Defence Digital, a part of Strategic Command. It seeks proposals that will help to quantify and reduce the cyber risk across Defence, enhance digital resilience and enable Defence to be secure by default.

Programme:     DASA

Award:     Share of up to £880,000

Opens: 19th Sep 2023

Closes: 31st Oct 2023

! This scheme is now closed


The risk of cyber-attack is amongst the highest that is managed by the Defence Board and requires a collective response to address it . Reducing the risk is accomplished by increasing Cyber Resilience which is defined by NIST as being ‘the ability to anticipate, withstand, recover from, and adapt to adverse conditions, stresses, attacks, or compromises on systems that use or are enabled by cyber resources’.

Defence currently aims to reduce its cyber risk through the Defensive Cyber Programmes, one of which being the Cyber Resilience Programme (CRP). CRP focussed on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) functions identify, protect, and recover and aims to reduce cyber risk through its seventeen projects split into four main themes:

  • Secure Digital Foundations
  • Resilient by Design
  • Cyber Vulnerability Fixes
  • Awareness, Behaviour & Culture

The Cyber Resilience Strategy for Defence states one central aim: for Defence’s critical functions to be significantly hardened to cyber-attack by 2026, with all of Defence’s organisations resilient to known vulnerabilities and attack methods no later than 2030. This strategy aligns with and supports the National Cyber Strategy and the Government Cyber Security Strategy and is the driving force behind Defence’s objectives to reduce cyber risk.

Experimentation, research, and innovation is described in the Cyber Resilience Strategy as a strategic priority for Defence. And Defence recognises that to ensure we stay ahead of the developing cyber threats; we must embrace innovation and collaborate with industry partners.


This competition seeks:

  • Novel tools that strengthen digital resilience across defence
  • Novel approaches that enable security by default
  • Novel ways to quantify Operational Technology risk

This competition is interested in innovation projects that will deliver outputs at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 – technology model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment.

DASA require solutions to be delivered in a form which can be integrated within a broader enterprise of Information Technology, Operational Technology, networks and systems, encompassing both military and civilian technology.

In the challenges below we are particularly interested in ideas tailored towards Defence specific use-cases. Although MOD has many systems and networks that look similar to other departments and industries; military platforms and the need to operate in harsh environments that may be controlled by an adversary may require different approaches, considerations and technical solutions.

This competition has three challenges.

  • Challenge 1: Digital Resilience
  • Challenge 2: Secure by Default
  • Challenge 3: Quantifying Operational Technology Risk

For further information on each challenge, please see here

What your proposal must include

  • the proposal should focus on the Phase 1 requirements but must also include a brief (uncosted) outline of the next stages of work required for commercial exploitation
  • when submitting a proposal, you must complete all sections of the online form, including an appropriate level of technical information to allow assessment of the bid and a completed finances section
  • completed proposals must comply with the financial rules set for this competition. The upper-limit for this competition is £880K (excluding VAT). Proposals will be rejected if the financial cost exceeds this capped level
  • you must include a list of other current or recent government funding you may have received in this area if appropriate, making it clear how this proposal differs from this work
  • a project plan with clear milestones and deliverables must be provided. Deliverables must be well defined and designed to provide evidence of progress against the project plan and the end-point for this phase; they must include a final report
  • you should also plan for attendance at a kick-off meeting at the start of Phase 1, a mid-project event and an end of project event at the end of Phase 1, as well as regular reviews with the appointed Technical Partner and Project Manager; all meetings will be in the UK. Meetings may also take place virtually.
  • your proposal must demonstrate how you will complete all activities/services and provide all deliverables within the competition timescales (maximum contract length of 9 months ). Proposals with any deliverables (including final report) outside the competition timeline will be rejected as non-compliant
  • a technical deliverable or milestone to be delivered no later than 31st march 2024


DASA want novel ideas to benefit UK Defence and Security. Your proposal should address one of the three challenges and include evidence of:

  • Innovation – we are not looking for proposals that provide solutions that are already commercial products.
  • Clear demonstration of how the proposed work applies to any defence and security context
  • The ability to scale across the entire Defence enterprise.
  • The initial and target TRLs for the project.


DASA are not interested in proposals that:
Are effective, but are exquisite, need highly technical operators, are expensive, or cannot be scaled.

  • Offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions.
  • Offer no real long-term prospect of integration into defence and security capabilities.
  • An unsolicited resubmission of a previous DASA bid.
  • Constitute consultancy, paper-based studies or literature reviews which just summarise the existing literature.
  • Show no awareness of the contemporary military operating environment.
  • Come from suppliers who will not be prepared to develop and integrate their solution cooperatively with users and other small and medium enterprises.

Funding Costs

The total funding available for Phase 1 of this competition £880K (excluding VAT).

Interested in applying for this competition?

Book an appointment to speak to one of our advisors to discuss your eligibility to apply for this Grant Funding opportunity.