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£1 million available for innovations that rapidly diagnose biological and chemical agents at the front line

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is seeking innovations that enable front line clinicians to diagnose and treat individuals exposed to biological or chemical agents in approximately 1 hour

  • DASA has launched a new Themed Competition: Point of Care Diagnostics at the Front Line: Phase 2
  • Funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
  • Up to £1 million funding available for innovative technologies that help diagnose and treat individuals exposed to biological or chemical agents on the front line

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is pleased to launch Point of Care Diagnostics at the Front Line: Phase 2, a Themed Competition which follows on from Phase 1. Run on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), this competition seeks cutting-edge technologies that enable clinicians to diagnose and treat individuals following exposure to biological or chemical agents.

Exposure to biological or chemical agents still represents a key issue for deployed personnel. Outputs from this competition that rapidly detect agents and enable quicker treatment will help improve UK capability to manage and treat personnel affected by virulent infectious agents or toxic chemicals.

Key dates and funding

£1 million (Exc. VAT) funding is available and DASA expects to fund two proposals of up to £500k (Exc. VAT) each in value. However, DASA reserves the right to fund one outstanding bid up to £1M (Exc. VAT).

The deadline to submit a proposal is midday (BST) 22 September 2022.

Do you have an idea? Read the full competition document and submit a proposal.

Enabling rapid diagnosis of biological and chemical agents in approximately 1 hour

Current technologies that enable diagnosis of individuals exposed to biological or chemical agents are time-consuming, resource intensive and can only provide limited identification capability. They often rely on laboratory facilities, where sufficient infrastructure and expertise are available to interpret complex data.

This themed competition seeks to address current limitations of diagnostic technologies through the development of novel, enhanced point of care diagnostic devices, which provide a result in approximately 1 hour. The technology should also be able to be used in proximity to the patient, and in demanding austere locations.

Improved point of care solutions will enable clinicians to make informed, high confidence, diagnoses that optimise the management of affected individuals.

Challenge areas

This competition has one challenge area.

Challenge 1

PoC diagnostic devices submitted to this competition should support one or more of the following requirements:

  • Minimal or no requirement for manual sample preparation (blood, serum, plasma, saliva etc).
  • Provide a rapid (c. 1 hour or less) time to answer, to facilitate delivery of timely information to clinicians to inform treatment options.
  • Provide high confidence information outputs with a minimal level of false positives and negatives.
  • Flexible and adaptable to integration of new assays for additional analytes to facilitate identification of a broad spectrum of agents.

To learn more about the challenge area of the competition read the full competition document here.


3 August 2022

This webinar will provide more information on the challenge areas and how to submit a proposal. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions in the Q&A. If you would like to get involved, please register on the Eventbrite page.

Register now

Submit a proposal

Do you have a solution or novel approach to improve our ability to rapidly diagnose and treat front line exposure to chemical and biological agents? Submit an idea and help DASA and Dstl ensure diagnoses capabilities are informed by the latest research and development.

Learn more and submit a proposal.

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