23 Jul 2019

DASA launches competition for Point Of Care diagnostics tool

DASA has launched a competition to find an innovative Point of Care diagnostics tool.

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is seeking innovative ideas for a Point of Care (PoC) diagnostics tool. They are looking for ideas that provide earlier diagnosis, better treatment, and long-term health outcomes for people exposed to chemical and biological hazards.

Total funding of up to £500k is available for this phase to fund multiple proposals at a range of Technology Readiness Levels (up to TRL 6). Additional funding for further phases of work to develop lower TRL technologies towards a higher TRL is potentially available.

There is currently a limited range of technologies that can provide a diagnosis of exposure to chemical and biological agents. They are often expensive, inefficient, provide limited capabilities for identification, and sometimes require a confirmation from laboratories.

DASA is seeking enhanced PoC diagnostic tools that can be used quickly, as close to the patient as possible, and in extreme locations. In Phase 1 of the competition, DASA is seeking proposals that demonstrate the feasibility of novel approaches for the detection of low levels of analyte in complex sample types.

Applicants are directed to focus on the development of novel sensor transduction mechanisms or concepts that have the capability of overcoming the logistical and user burden associated with current platforms. DASA is seeking the following capabilities:

  • minimal or no requirement for sample preparation
  • provide rapid  delivery of timely information
  • suitable for, or can be adapted for, use by non-expert users
  • provide high confidence information
  • high levels of equipment reliability in resource limited settings
  • suitable for, or can be adapted to use with, minimal reliability on the presence of other associated lab infrastructure
  • suitable for, or can be adapted for, the detection of multiple analytes simultaneously
  • flexible and adaptable to integration of new assays
  • minimal equipment footprint.

Full details are available in the Point of Care diagnostics at the Front Line competition document. The competition closes on 26th September 2019 at midday (BST).

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