11 Dec 2018

DASA celebrates second anniversary

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has celebrated its second anniversary, with Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson calling it a ‘shining example’ of industry innovation.

For the uninitiated, DASA is responsible for finding and funding exploitable innovations in support of UK defence and security. The cross-government organisation first launched in December 2016 following the Strategic Defence and Security Review. In the two years since, the accelerator has:

  • Run 26 innovation competitions
  • Assessed 1,461 proposals from organisations and individuals alike
  • Invested £42.1 million in 278 projects

Approximately 40% of proposals are from ‘new to DASA’ organisations; demonstrating the accelerator’s attempts to reach out beyond traditional suppliers and find innovators with original ideas, products or services. Crucially, over 50% of this funding has gone to small and medium-sized enterprises.

DASA not only funds UK innovators, but also helps them grow and develop, providing access to a wealth of expertise and technical support. Today, the accelerator continues to connect these businesses to frontline services such as the Armed Forces and police, in addition to aviation security, transport security, and counter-terror organisations. This access has allowed innovations to be tested in real-world scenarios, rapidly accelerating their delivery.

“DASA is a shining example of how we are responding to the rapid pace of evolving technology,” said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. “This excellent organisation harnesses ingenious innovation ideas from across the private sector and collaborates widely across academia, industry and the military.

“DASA is maintaining our military edge over adversaries by driving revolutionary ideas in Artificial Intelligence, human-machine teaming and surveillance.”

Currently, DASA is collaborating with the Australian Government as part of a themed competition calling for companies to submit new ideas on innovative joining technologies. It is hoped the competition will accelerate the integration of advanced materials onto military platforms.

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