Catch the ChemBio SCENT! Help the MOD and DOD screen and analyse hazardous ChemBio materials with novel technologies – GOV.UK

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Up to £1 million available to help the MOD and DOD screen, collect and exploit hazardous ChemBio materials using novel technologies
Detecting the production and use of hazardous chemical and biological (ChemBio) materials is an enduring challenge in the defence and security community. From sample collection and storage to rapid screening and identification of hazardous materials of interest – new safe and efficient approaches are required to meet various technology challenges during this process.
To help address challenges in the successful identification of ChemBio materials and to bring perpetrators to justice, DASA is pleased to launch a new Themed Competition called Catch the ChemBio SCENT. This competition is jointly funded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the US Department of Defense (DOD) via the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD).
Up to £1 million is available for Phase 1 of the competition, with a maximum of £100K for each funded proposal. The closing date for proposals is on 17 January 2021.
The production and use of ChemBio materials is a breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. When under investigation, samples may need to be recovered from environments with extreme climatic conditions and also dense urban areas.
It is vital that samples submitted to laboratories for investigation maintain physical integrity and stability during transportation to ensure high-quality analysis is undertaken, in a safe, controlled manner.
The challenges outlined in this competition seek to address either the screening, collection or forensic exploitation of samples suspected of containing hazardous ChemBio materials.
Current screening technologies can identify known ChemBio Hazards. However, screening for a wider range of materials is restricted because of the limitations of handheld or field based screening technologies.
The goal of this challenge is to enable the rapid classification of “unknown” hazardous materials in either a field or a laboratory context.
Current collection technologies can sample materials from surfaces, but do not protect and stabilise the sampled materials for storage and transportation without cold chain support.
The goal of this challenge is to retrieve samples from an operational setting with a technology that preserves the properties of the sample.
Current forensic exploitation technologies are in their infancy in ChemBio attribution and often require data intensive approaches taking weeks or months to undertake.
The goal of this challenge is to maximise the information and breadth of approaches that can be used in order to analyse a sample.
Sign up here to join the Catch the ChemBio SCENT launch webinar on 16th November.
You can also book a one-to-one appointment with the competition team on Wednesday 17th November or Thursday 18th November 2021.
If you have a solution or technology that may help the MOD and DOD better screen, sample, or analyse ChemBio materials, we want to hear from you.
Get in touch with your local Innovation Partner to discuss your idea by submitting a brief Innovation Outline.
Up to £1 million is available for Phase 1 of the competition, with a maximum of £100K for each funded proposal. The closing date for proposals is on 17 January 2021.
Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.
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