• Status: Closed

  • Key features: This CDE themed competition is for proof-of-concept research proposals from all sectors with highly innovative synthetic biology approaches relevant to defence and security.

  • Programme: SBRI

  • Award: Up to £4m

  • Opens: 03 Sep 2014, 00:00

  • Registration closes: No deadline

  • Closes: 06 Nov 2014, 17:00

  • Support phone number: 0300 321 4357

Synthetic biology applications in defence


Funding of £1m is available for Phase 1 of this competition with a further £3m for Phase 2.
Ministry of Defence MOD's Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) proves the value of novel, high-risk, high-potential-benefit research sourced from the broadest possible range of science and technology providers, including academia and small companies, to enable development of cost-effective capability advantage for UK Armed Forces and national security. 
Synthetic biology has the potential to address several difficult challenges facing UK defence and security. It could provide new ways to protect both the armed forces and civilian populations.
The purpose of this CDE themed competition for short-term, proof-of-concept research proposals is to reach out to all sectors for highly innovative synthetic biology approaches relevant to defence and security. This may involve cutting-edge, multidisciplinary research through the application of existing synthetic biology tools and techniques, but using novel research approaches.
Areas where synthetic biology could contribute to defence and security include, but are not limited to:
  • protection of personnel or equipment
  • sensor technologies to detect chemicals, such as explosives, forces, such as gravity, or to indicate physical status, such as integrity
  • materials exhibiting unique properties or added functionality
  • decontamination approaches
  • camouflage solutions including noise and emission reduction
The scope of this competition is deliberately broad and non-prescriptive to encourage novel ideas applicable to land, air or maritime environments. Proposals where a short-term investment will allow the defence and security applications of synthetic biology to be explored are sought.
This competition will be briefed at the CDE Innovation Network event on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 in Scotland.
The competition closes on Thursday, 6 November 2014 at 5pm; all proposals must be submitted via the CDE Portal

Application process

This competition is run by the Centre for Defence Enterprise. 

Key dates

  • Opens: 3 September 2014
  • Closes: 6 November 2014
  • Contracts awarded: TBC

Further information