01 Oct 2018

DASA competition to destroy battlefield chemical weapons launched

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has officially launched ‘Don’t Blow It!’; the first joint UK-US industry competition of its kind to be run by the Accelerator.

Jointly funded through the UK Ministry of Defence and US Department of Defense, ‘Don’t Blow It!’ requires competitors to develop innovative concepts or adapt existing technologies to disable and destroy chemical and biological devices. This could include chemical and biological munitions, improvised explosive devices containing lethal agents or containers housing bulk quantities of chemical or biological substances.

“Horrific incidents stretching from Salisbury to Syria this year have shown us that chemical weapons are sadly still very much a reality – but a reality that we are determined to deal with,” said Defence Minister Stuart Andrew.

“Destroying these deadly weapons is a complicated process and not doing it properly could mean devastating collateral damage. These are challenges that we share with our allies like the US. Competitions like this help us to tackle them head on with some of the best and brightest minds across both our countries.”

The competition has made available an initial £500,000 to fund multiple proof-of-concept proposals. Based on the outcome of this initial funding phase, an additional £1.5 million of funding could also be released.

Specifically, ‘Don’t Blow It!’ is seeking ideas from non-traditional supply sectors and is looking for ‘outside-the-box’ proposals that will:

  • Enable rapid and flexible destruction
  • Reduce logistical support requirements
  • Maximise ease of operation and portability
  • Address a greater breadth of threats

Potential suppliers will be provided with greater context on the challenge by both UK and US speakers, as well as information on how to apply to the competition by DASA. The submission deadline for proposals is 5pm GMT (midday EST) on 7 November 2018.

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