• Status: Closed

  • Key features: Up to £3m for proposals for innovative solutions in the field of explosives and weapons detection.

  • Programme: SBRI

  • Award: Up to £3m

  • Opens: 07 Oct 2013, 00:00

  • Registration closes: 27 Nov 2013, 12:00

  • Closes: 04 Dec 2013, 12:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Innovative Research Call - IRC 2013 - Detection of explosives and weapons


Registration is required to enter this competition. Please note that registration will close at noon 1 week before the competition application deadline. The application deadline is also noon.

This cross-government supported call for research proposals is seeking innovation in detection technologies and processes that provide reliable capability against the existing terrorist threat and have the potential to tackle new threats as they emerge. 
Funding: £3m total with £950k for all Phase 1 contracts. Phase 2 of the competition is open to Phase 1 winners from 18 August to 16 October 2014 with £2m funding.
Terrorist attacks are characterised not only by their ferocity and ruthlessness but by their variety and unpredictability. Terrorists constantly innovate, trying new methods of attack, new weapons and new explosives. Those organisations whose job it is to protect the UK from terrorism need to innovate too.
The Home Office, Department for Transport, Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, Dstl CT S&T Centre, Metropolitan Police Service and the US Department of Homeland Security are inviting companies and academic institutions to submit proposals for innovative solutions in the field of explosives and weapons detection.
UK Government has a broad range of operational requirements for explosives and weapons detection. Whilst there is already much in the way of excellent equipment and solutions commercially available and in service, there remains plenty of scope for further improvement. 
The emphasis of IRC 2013 is on innovation. This could include: 
  • R&D of new technologies and methods and processes
  • Application of technologies from other areas. 
The overarching aim is to develop detection technologies and methods that provide good, reliable capability against a significant proportion of current explosives and weapons threats. Such solutions should have applicability to a range of operational contexts and also have the potential to tackle new threats as they emerge.
We will be seeking R&D proposals from industry and the research community that address the screening of the following (not in order of preference):
  • Challenge 1 - Bags
  • Challenge 2 - Cargo
  • Challenge 3 - People
  • Challenge 4 - Vehicles
  • Challenge 5 - Buildings and areas.

Those funded in Phase 1 may be offered the opportunity to bid for continuation funding to develop their ideas in Phase 2.

The competition will open on Monday, 7 October 2013

Bidders' conference

A bidders' conference will be held on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 in central London.
As well as the opportunity for networking, the day will consist of a plenary session to set the scene, followed by four scenario presentations in break-out sessions: 
You will have the opportunity to attend two of these scenario presentations.  Please indicate your session preference, in order, when you apply for the conference.
To register for this event, please email irc2013@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk with your name, contact details, name of your organisation and scenario session preferences.
Places are limited: the organisers reserve the right to refuse or limit applications to attend.
Applications to attend the conference must be received by midday, Monday, 14 October 2013
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.
Further documentation, including a call brief, application form and FAQs will be available when the call is launched.  All presentations from the bidders' conference will be available to view online from midday on Wednesday, 16 October 2013.
For questions about the call process, technical questions about the subject of this call, please email irc2013@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

Application process and supporting downloads

This SBRI competition is run by the Technology Strategy Board. All proposals must be submitted via the TSB Competitions Portal.