DASA Competition: Intelligent Ship - Phase 3

DASA competition looking for innovation in Human Autonomy Teams

Opportunity Details


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One proposal of up to £1.7m will be funded.



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The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) want to understand the design implications, challenges and opportunities of future Command and Control (C2) systems that incorporate multiple Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based agents. These agents are expected to interact and work together as a Collaborative AI system. Defence also needs to understand how to successfully integrate these collaborative AI systems with Human Operators and decision makers, forming complex Human-Autonomy Teams (HAT).

What are we looking for?

A supplier team or consortium that shall be responsible for:

  • Exploring approaches to, and the benefits and challenges of, a more human centred approach to the design of the collaborative AI based HAT – develop approaches to designing, and then implementing and testing, a HAT with human operators and their roles, tasking and needs intrinsic to the design.
  • Explore approaches to, and the benefits and challenges of different approaches to system level arbitration in a Collaborative AI-based HAT – develop, implement and evaluate approaches (including Phase 2 approaches) to implementing effective and robust arbitration of proposed Course(s) of Action (CoA) from different agents within a collaborative AI based HAT.
  • The effective use of evaluation approaches to understand the impacts of more human centred approach on the design of the collaborative AI based HAT – using simulation approaches to undertake a series of evaluation sprints with human operators to assess the relative performance of the system(s). This should include the assessment and use of appropriate measures of effectiveness, and the system’s ability to build trust and explainability to a human operator.

These shall be delivered through a phased approach with the expectation of an initial design period, followed by build and evaluation periods in which the designed, more-human-focused, HAT system(s) are developed and integrated within the previous developed Intelligent Ship AI network (ISAIN) before its performance and usability are evaluated with human operators in a simulated environment.

To allow a greater focus on the human elements of the design, and the challenges of arbitration of collaborative AI, it is expected that this phase will focus on a sub-set of the naval capabilities evaluated in Phase 2 – i.e. a less broad, but deeper consideration of the above-water warfare decision making space. It is suggested that focusing on the capabilities to support future anti-air defence to reflect the expected challenges of the RNs Future Air Dominance System (FADS) should be at the heart of any proposed capability, but Dstl is open to alternative approaches and focus that could better support the analysis of Collaborative AI based HATs.

Total funding available

The total possible funding available for Phase 3 of this competition is £1.7 Million (ex VAT).
As this is a phase three competition we aim to fund a single proposal for up to the full funding.


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