The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has today launched an innovation competition to develop new capabilities for police and law enforcement agencies to stop armed or violent offenders with the minimal necessary force from distance.

Advancing Less Lethal Weapons seeks proposals for innovative technologies from industry and academia that can temporarily stop a violent or armed subject to prevent the escalation of conflict or destruction of property.

The technologies would allow the use of less lethal means as an alternative to firearms in some scenarios, giving police more versatile and effective options to defuse dangerous situations to keep the public safe without having to resort to lethal force.

An initial £500,000 funding is available for innovators with up to £500,000 additional funding for a later phase.

The scope of this competition, run on behalf of the Home Office, includes looking at technologies that have not been deployed operationally before and investigating combinations of technologies that may provide better solutions.

The proposed technologies would need to reach a distance of 50m to meet the police requirement while up to 70m could also meet potential military requirements.

The ability to mark a subject in order to ‘identify’ them at a later stage would also be desirable.

There are two tracks to the competition looking at:

  • Low maturity technologies.
  • Medium maturity technologies.

Full details of scope and tracks can be found in the competition document.

The competition closes for submissions at midday BST on Thursday 15 October 2020.

This funded call follows on from a market exploration which was conducted by DASA on behalf of the Home Office and police late last year.

The previous call focused on near market and mature solutions for similar policing problems. In contrast, this call is looking for technologies at technical readiness levels (TRL) levels between 3 and 7.

A dial-in session providing further detail on the competition and a chance to ask questions in an open forum. If you would like to participate, please register on the Eventbrite page.

A series of 20 minute one-to-one teleconference sessions, giving you the opportunity to ask specific questions will take place on 9 September and 24 September.. If you would like to participate, please register on the Eventbrite page.