Future Screening for Aviation and Borders

Key Features

Organisations can apply for a share of £4.5 million to develop innovative solutions that can improve the way in which prohibited, illicit and contraband items are detected through screening.

Programme:     DASA

Award:     Share of up to £4.5 million

Opens: 6th May 2019

Closes: 1st Jul 2019

! This scheme is now closed


This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition is seeking innovative proposals that can improve the way in which prohibited, illicit and contraband items are detected through screening.


This competition is looking for innovative solutions which can provide step changes to the current capabilities of screening and detection of dangerous, illicit and/or contraband items.

  • Illicit items are those that are illegal (e.g. drugs)
  • Contraband items are those that are associated with smuggling and tax avoidance (e.g. large quantities of alcohol, cigarettes, precious minerals, and metals)
  • Prohibited items are those that are not allowed to be taken onto planes (e.g. firearms, knives)

It is likely that some solutions may be applicable to more than one challenge, but this is not a necessity. Proposals should make clear which challenge(s) their solution addresses.


You must address at least one of the 5 challenges, though some solutions may be applicable to more than one challenge (which should be made clear in your proposal). All bids must include consideration of the impact of any changes to any physical footprints or logistical burdens and compliance with all appropriate legal and ethical guidelines. Impact must be proportionate to the benefits the new technologies bring.

Challenge 1 – Improving the screening process for passengers, staff and their belongings.

Challenge 2 – Improving the screening process for in-flight supplies.

Challenge 3 – Rapid screening of cargo, mail or hold bags for prohibited and contraband items.

Challenge 4 – Improving aviation security screening using a systems approach / systems integration.

Challenge 5 – Going beyond aviation security – improving detection and identification of contraband and illicit items at the border.

More information on these challenges can be found here.

Your proposal should include evidence of:

  • theoretical development, methodological advancement or proof of concept research which can demonstrate potential for translation to practical demonstration in later phases
  • an innovative or creative approach

Funding Costs

The estimated funding pot of £4.5 million is expected to place a number of Framework Agreements with a duration until 28 February 2021.

Contracts will be funded for an initial period of up to 6 months, although proposals of less than 6 months are also welcomed e.g. scoping and feasibility studies.

It is intended that further funding will be provided to projects that are demonstrated to be successful during this initial period.


For this competition DASA are not interested in proposals that:

  • are an identical resubmission of a previous bid to DASA without modification
  • constitute consultancy or literature reviews which just summarise the existing literature without any development
  • offer no or only marginal improvements to existing security capabilities
  • 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 security capabilities
  • offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions
  • are focused on countering drones or MANPADS
  • are focused on detecting or addressing aviation threats when already in flight
  • are primarily focused on scanning or detecting items outside the scope of these challenges e.g. people trafficking

How to Apply

Outline Proposals must be submitted to the competition name ”(Outline proposal) Future Screening for Aviation and Borders)” within the DASA submission service.

Please write no more than 250 words against each of these criteria within your submission, in order for the FASS team to indicate that your Outline proposal is in line with the scope of the themed competition.

Outline proposals must be submitted prior to midday (BST) 10 June 2019.

Full proposals must then be submitted by 1 July 2019 at midday (BST).

Please Note: unlike previous DASA-FASS competitions, this is the only planned phase for this call; with further funding to be provided through a framework agreement and tasking.