Up to £1 million is available for Phase 1 of this two phase competition funded by the Ministry of Defence
The mission of the MOD's Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) is "To equip and support our Armed Forces for operations now and in the future." DE&S is responsible for procuring and supporting all the equipment and services for the UK Armed Forces.
The ability to operate in harsh, hostile and toxic environments, whilst maintaining operational effectiveness is an enduring challenge. The overall aim is to provide fit, form and function. That is, provide the user with IPE that is comfortable to wear whilst also ensuring the user is able to operate safely, effectively and efficiently; whether this is on land, sea or in the air (or a combination of these).
The overall aim of the E-IPE challenge is to improve user effectiveness through a coherent and integrated clothing and protection system and bidders are requested to focus on one or more of the following seven key themes:
CBRN Protection – low burden, broad spectrum respiratory and dermal protection against toxic vapours, liquids and aerosols via integration with existing operational equipment
Climatic/Environmental Protection – for integration of protective clothing against extremes of hot and cold e.g. on the upper deck of a carrier
Fire Protection – enhanced level of protection and reduction of the thermo physiological burden of the fire protection on board ships/carriers
Industrial Protection – for personnel against, for example, hazardous materials or substances, noise etc
Blunt and Ballistic Protection – for integration of protective material into clothing without unduly affecting the human factors (bulk, thermal burden, range of movement)
Enhanced Hand Protection –to increase the capability and interoperability of gloves whilst providing increased functionality e.g. touch screen capability
Novel Fitting Techniques – to enable accurate measuring of the user for IPE in order to improve the accuracy of armour positioning and optimise the sizing and fit.
In all cases the user needs a range of IPE that also requires integration with other equipment. Innovative methods of integration of IPE would be beneficial; to reduce the equipment burden on the user, improve interoperability and potentially reduce inventory holdings.
It is envisaged that the results from this challenge will assist DE&S to de-risk procurement and have broad exploitation for various specialist military users, industry, civil and international markets.
Phase 1 of the competition therefore seeks proposals for proof of concept research into innovative technologies, materials or designs that optimise Individual Protective Equipment (IPE) deployed today in harsh, hostile and toxic environments.
Phase 2 funding to develop working prototypes will be available for those projects that demonstrate the greatest potential at the end of the Phase 1 contract.
This competition opens on Monday 1st June and will close at 12 noon on Wednesday, 29th July, 2015.
A briefing event will be held in London on Tuesday 14 July 2015.
The London briefing event is oversubscribed, however, a briefing webinar will be held on 17 July at 2pm.
Supporting documents & links
This competition is run by Innovate UK. All proposals must be submitted via the Innovate UK Portal.
Open Date: 1st June 2015
Registration Closes: 22nd July 2015
Close Date: 29th July 2015
Contracts awarded: TBC
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