Reducing the risk of common chemicals being used for explosives or in chemical or biological agents

Posted on: 24/05/2019

DASA have opened an SBRI competition aimed at novel chemistry to reduce the risk from household products.


The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) have announced a competition seeking proposals that can reduce the risk of common chemicals used in household and personal care products being used as explosives precursors or precursors for the production of chemical or biological agents. They will welcome approaches that will offer substitutes for these compounds or additives that will reduce the risk of their misuse.

The focus for this competition is on substances that are precursors to explosives, chemical or biological agents. Explosive, chemical and biological agents, produced for legitimate purposes, are well regulated and controlled, but there are a range of commercially available products containing precursors which can be used to make homemade versions. Many of these precursors are available on the high street such as in household cleaning or personal care products.

Precursors which are easy to extract and concentrate, and that are available in large volumes, are of particular concern. Simply banning them is not practicable due to their legitimate uses and therefore substitutes are sought. Alternatively it may be more appropriate to use additives, which would make concentration or extraction of the precursor more difficult, rather than to actually replace it in a legitimate product.


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Proposals demonstrating novel approaches are invited against one or two of the following challenges:

  • Challenge 1: Substitutes
    Challenge 2: Additives

£1 million is available to fund multiple bids to this competition over 7 months.

This competition closes on Wednesday 3 July 2019 at midday.

There is a briefing event for potential applicants to find out more information, on 4 June 2019. Click here to register for this event.

You can find out more about this competition here.

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