Delivering operational advantage via improved self-sufficiency

Key Features

DASA is seeking innovations that will enable deployed forces to move away from logistics resupply, towards self-sufficiency and enhanced operational energy.

Programme:     DASA

Award:     Share of up to £3.1 million

Opens: 21st May 2024

Closes: 2nd Jul 2024

! This scheme is opening soon

Overview

Defence is on a journey to enable a future where more sustainable, green technologies are central to providing operational advantage. The deployed force will need to operate more concisely, i.e. removing all that is superfluous, with a smaller footprint; i.e. reduced energy demand, host nation resource reliance and carbon emissions, and greater agility. By doing so it will reduce its reliance on the support chain and demands on the regions in which it is operating.

DASA’s vision is a future where environmental technologies become the means for a revolution in military campaigning, where the emphasis shifts from logisticians planning to sustain at reach (the need for logistics resupply), to scientists and engineers designing for self-sustainment.

Our deployed force needs to be able to operate in a dispersed manner, capable of transitioning between varying levels of activity intensity, i.e. from routine intensity conflict to high intensity combat.

Changes could include but are not limited to:

  • reduction in time for a deployed force and its capabilities to be at full operating capacity
  • increased ability to operate across the environmental extremes
  • capabilities that are scalable to a range of deployed expeditionary forces from a small scale, littoral strike 12 person team up to and including a large scale, enduring force of circa 2750 personnel

Our vision for success is to increase resilience through the ability to acquire, produce, or negate the demand for resources at the point of need, thereby creating the conditions for increased independence of the deployed force from the military support chain. This better places us to outcompete and deter nearby adversaries through ensuring essential capabilities are readily available in a given situation without the need of resupply from the support chain.

Scope

The focus is on providing self-sustainment of the deployed expeditionary force and enhanced capability across the maritime, land and air domains. DASA are seeking solutions that are scalable from a small scale littoral strike 12 person team up to and including a large scale, enduring force of circa 2750 personnel sited in distributed nodes or locations within the deployed space.

Seeking technologies to provide a step change

This competition is open to any self-sufficiency and operational energy technologies that can provide a step change in deployed endurance in at least one of the challenge areas. It is also open to solutions that provide advantage across multiple challenge areas. We want technologies that will reduce defence’s heavy reliance on the support chain, give a winning edge over adversaries, meet the increasing requirement for electricity, deal with the thermal energy and improve battery technology.

DASA don’t want currently available technologies (unless they are not yet used in a defence context and are being applied in a novel way), or proposals that do not offer an increase of at least one technology readiness level.

For more information on this competition, see guidance notes here

Competition Challenges

This competition has seven challenges, each of which is described briefly in this document; please refer to the Challenge Details document to get the full details for each challenge:

  • Challenge 1: Food – feeding the winning edge
  • Challenge 2: Water – harvest and recycle water with increasing efficiency
  • Challenge 3: Materiel – reducing the supply chain burden
  • Challenge 4: Waste – trash into treasure
  • Challenge 5: Platform Power & Energy – enduring energy
  • Challenge 6: Platform Thermal Management – keeping cool for persistent power
  • Challenge 7: Deployed Power & Energy – energy fuels persistence

Please select one challenge area for your proposal.

For all proposals you will be asked to demonstrate awareness of possible linkages to other challenges and the impact your solution may have on them, in order to highlight benefits and disadvantages.

Eligibility

DASA want novel ideas to benefit end-users working in UK Defence and Security. Your proposal should include evidence of:

  • consideration of whether working with classified data would be required to deliver benefits to the military user, and if so how this could be achieved; please note that there is no obligation for classified data to be provided for your project and you should mitigate the risk of not receiving it
  • theoretical development, method of advancement or proof of concept research which can demonstrate potential for translation to practical demonstration in later phases
  • innovation or a creative approach
  • clear demonstration of how the proposed work applies to any defence and security context

Exclusions

DASA are not interested in proposals that:

  • offer solutions which cannot articulate a step-change in capability; it is expected that proposers will understand the state of the art of their technology space and be able to articulate why their proposal will provide a step change in performance.
  • purely conduct data science / analytics
  • are PhD Proposals
  • use military working animals
  • have significant negative impact on other challenge areas themes
  • provide solutions which would benefit defence but are likely to be funded and / or developed through other means
  • have not considered research ethics, specifically MODREC for any proposals planning to use humans. Proposals must include sufficient time to achieve appropriate approvals, if required (MODREC approvals currently circa 5 months.)
  • constitute consultancy, paper-based studies or literature reviews which just summarise the existing literature without any view of future innovation (which therefore cannot be extended into follow-on work)
  • are an unsolicited resubmission of a previous DASA bid
  • offer demonstrations of off-the-shelf products requiring no experimental development (unless applied in a novel way to the challenge)
  • offer no real long-term prospect of integration into defence and security capabilities
  • offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions

Funding Costs

The total possible funding available for this competition is £3.1 million (excluding VAT). Successful proposals will be contracted for 13 months (to allow attendance at the 6 month spotlight and 12 month demonstration events). However, the development work can be less than 13 months.

DASA expect to fund between 5 and 20 proposals of between £50,000 and £500,000 in value. The maximum value of proposal is £500,000.

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.