The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is launching Phase 3 of Take Cover! This competition seeks proposals to access recent innovations in materials science and/or design to provide advanced protection solutions for small groups of front-line troops from ballistic and blast threats.

Within defence and security, protection of personnel is a priority area and deployment of rapid protection solutions for dismounted (on-foot) troops on the front-line is of high importance.

We are interested in integrating proof-of-concept technologies into a single or multiple protection system during this competition phase.

This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition is seeking proposals for innovative technologies that provide improved methods to protect small groups (1-10 personnel) of dismounted troops in the field.

Within defence and security, protection of personnel is a priority area and deployment of rapid protection solutions for dismounted troops on the front-line is of high importance. This competition seeks to access recent developments in materials science and/or novel design technologies to provide advanced and readily deployable protection solutions for our troops.

In this phase of the competition, DASA is seeking proposals that can be developed into a deployable battlefield solution.

Up to £480k is available to fund at least two proposals in this phase, which must start at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 (or closely approaching), in order to achieve TRL 6 by the end of Phase 3.

Applications for Phase 3 of this competition close on Thursday 11 February 2021 at midday (GMT).

Please note this is the third phase of funding for a multi-phase competition. It is not compulsory to have been involved in the previous phases to apply. You should however make yourself aware of the previous competitions and the bids that were funded to achieve preceding TRLs (Phase 1 and Phase 2).

The overarching requirement here is for innovative structures that can be easily stored, transported and rapidly deployed by troops in forward operating environments with minimal burden, including the burden of tools required for construction. Examples could include novel self-erecting, inflatable or folding structures. Any solution should be simple to emplace and not require specialist training or high levels of qualifications (for example: can only be deployed by an engineer).

Future modularity, flexibility and scalability of the technology are also important aspects, which should be considered. For example can multiple systems be linked together to protect a larger number of soldiers.

Size and mass of the protective materials is a consideration. Protection measures packaged for transport must be able to fit on a standard NATO pallet(s), which has dimensions 1 m x 1.2 m and a loading limit of 1 tonne. Individual elements, once removed from the NATO pallet should be portable by a single soldier.

Two challenge scenarios are in scope: one for a 4-10 person battle trench, and another for a portable vehicle check point.