• Status: Closed

  • Key features: This call for proposals is seeking to achieve a step-change in UK Border Security through new technologies for detecting people hidden in vehicles.

  • Programme: SBRI

  • Award: £400k for all Phase1 contracts

  • Opens: 20 Oct 2014, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 07 Jan 2015, 12:00

  • Closes: 14 Jan 2015, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Detection of clandestines


Value: £400k for all Phase 1 contracts
Funding will be provided by the Home Office's Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) and Border Force. CAST exists to protect the public using science and technology by providing high quality, impartial advice, innovative solutions and frontline support to the Home Office and its partners. Border Force is a professional law enforcement command within the Home Office and is responsible for securing the UK border and controlling migration at 138 ports and airports across the UK and overseas.
Current migration trends across the EU are at an all time high; in April to December 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, the number of clandestine illegal entry attempts detected across all juxtaposed ports had increased by 58% (8,400 to 13,300).
A clandestine entrant is as a person who passes, or attempts to pass, through UK immigration control concealed in a vehicle. 
Currently Border Force deploys heartbeat detection sensors for use in the detection of clandestine migrants relying solely on monitoring vehicle vibration levels. The other method of detection is CO2 probes; used to check for levels of CO2 within the load. The current methods for detecting contraband goods in vehicles using ionising radiation cannot be used for the purposes of detecting humans. 
The challenge in this area is to have the capability to quickly screen for clandestines in a variety of vehicles and loads in environments that meets the H&S requirements for use in the UK, France and Belgium. This may be achieved by, for example:
  • a single detector, combining technologies for selection and screening.
  • improvements to current detectors for use in different types of vehicles.
  • improvements to the security of vehicles to make gaining entry more challenging and detection of tampering quicker.
  • improvements to the security of the environment particularly within the port boundaries to prevent individuals from gaining entry unnoticed.
The competition will open on Monday, 20 October, 2014 and close at midday on Wednesday, 14 January, 2015.
A briefing event will be held in London on 26 November - register now.

Application process and supporting downloads

This SBRI competition is run by Innovate UK. All proposals must be submitted via the Innovate UK Competitions Portal. 
For technical queries, please contact BFSE.SBRI@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

Key dates

  • Opens: 20 October 2014
  • Registration closes: 7 January 2014
  • Closes: 14 January 2014
  • Contracts awarded: TBC