Open Call for Innovation: Cycle 6

Key Features

Cycle 6 of the 2020/21 DASA Open Call for Innovation. The Open Call is looking for innovative ideas to improve the defence and/or security of the UK.

Programme:     DASA

Award:     View funding competition for more info

Opens: 29th Jan 2021

Closes: 31st Mar 2021

! This scheme is now closed


The Open Call competition exists to offer suppliers the opportunity to present their ideas to defence and security stakeholders.

Your idea could be a concept, technology, product or service, and bids are sought at various levels of maturity. The Emerging Innovations category is for less mature innovations, and the Rapid Impact Innovations category is for innovations that are more developed.

The Open Call welcomes innovations that address defence or security challenges, and some innovations may solve challenges common to both.

Defence requirements

Suppliers may submit proposals to address any defence challenge or a specific Innovation Focus Area. and can be submitted under either Emerging Innovations or Rapid Impact.

Security requirements

Suppliers may only submit proposals to address an Innovation Focus Area.

It’s expected that some proposals will be relevant to both defence and security.

Innovation Focus Areas

DASA have introduced focus areas that stakeholders across Government are particularly interested in welcoming; however, these areas are not a mandatory requirement to apply and the Open Call will always to welcome a full range of ideas and innovations. View the focus areas here.

Project Assessment

Your proposal will be assessed by subject matter experts across government against a common set of assessment criteria.

After an initial sifting process, experts from Dstl, MOD, the Home Office, the Department for Transport and wider UK government will assess your proposal.

Assessment criteria is available to view here.


For further information on this open call – please click here.

Emerging innovations are viewed as those which will deliver a proof of concept at around Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or 4.

Proof of concept might include component and/or sub-system validation in laboratory-style environment. Successful projects may be candidates for follow-on funding in the Rapid Impact Innovation category, although other funding opportunities may be available.

The majority of successful projects start at TRL 2 or 3, which means the basic concept has been formulated and the underpinning technological principles observed at the outset. No funding limit is specified, however DASA would typically expect to fund bids between £50K – £100K that last between 3 and 10 months.

Rapid Impact Innovations are viewed as those which will deliver a technology model or prototype demonstration at around Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 or 7.

This demonstration should be at a limited scale, in the hands of end users, and in the context or environment in which it is expected that the solution would be used. To be successful it will also have to provide evidence of how other MOD/Security business and capability requirements, such as the Defence Lines of Development (DLOD), could be satisfied should the project to be taken forward after the pilot.

Your project should have a realistic prospect of achieving an impact within a 3 year time frame from the start of the project. Proposals will therefore only be funded if there is a strong customer requirement and capability need for the idea. Proposals could be pre-sifted from the competition prior to full assessment if user need is not explained.

No funding limit is specified, however DASA would typically expect to fund bids between £100K – £350K. Proposals that demonstrate value for money or present a collaborative funding approach will be viewed favourably.