DASA Competition: Rapid Detection of Toxic Gases

DASA (Defence & Security Accelerator) are seeking new technologies that can be used to detect a range of toxic gases in public areas.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

23/01/2024

Registration Closes

28/03/2024

Award

Up to £200,000 per project (commercial contract, match funding not required)

Organisation

DASA

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This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition is run on behalf of the Home Office and supported by US Department of Homeland Security. We are seeking proposals that enable the rapid detection of toxic gases to improve public safety by providing  an early warning to indicate unsafe levels of toxic gases in busy spaces.

The rapid release of toxic gas in an enclosed or semi-enclosed environment may happen through accident, equipment malfunction or malicious intent. The impact would outpace existing safety procedures and potentially lead to adverse health effects for those in the vicinity. Therefore, we are seeking new technological solutions to this health, safety, and security challenge.

We are particularly interested in novel technology developments outside of commonly used techniques for gas detection such as electrochemical sensors, metal oxide sensor or spectroscopic methods. However, novel applications or development based on current techniques are still of interest and are in scope for this competition.

We encourage proposals where the innovation should output a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3-4.

Successful proposals will present credible plans for progressing new technologies which have the possibility of networking to future smart facility management systems.

  • DASA submissions are welcome from the private sector, academia, individuals (i.e. sole traders) and Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs). DASA will examine the legal status of organisations prior to placement of any contract. In most cases there are no nationality restrictions, however DASA individual competition documents will detail any necessary restrictions.

  • The proposal should focus on the Phase 1 requirements but must also include a brief (uncosted) outline of the next stages of work required to progress your idea towards the marketplace.

    Proposals should not exceed £200,000 in value or 12 months duration. The aim is for contracts to start August 2024 and end 12 months later in August 2025.

    Additional funding for further phases to increase TRL may be available. If there is a future phase, it will be open to applications from all innovators and not just those that submitted Phase 1 successful bids.

  • DASA is interested in detecting the presence of toxic gases in busy spaces by using an early warning system that triggers to the presence of toxic gases at or above 10% of their 10 minute Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGL) level 2 value. As well as detection, we are also interested in estimating concentration, minimising nuisance alarms and quickly identifying areas at risk. The possibility of networking to future smart facility management systems is also of interest.

    Comprehensive coverage of chemical hazards is preferred. Some toxic gases are of greater concern than others in rapid release emergencies – for example, colourless or odourless gases which would not otherwise alert bystanders, compared to coloured or odoriferous gases that would generate sensory alarm. In future, certain gases may be prioritised for particular focus. At this stage, we are exploring detectors with the widest possible range of chemical libraries and capabilities.

    Some more specific guideline criteria are suggested below. Potential chemical toxic gas libraries and exposure guidelines to address:

    We are particularly interested in novel technology developments outside of commonly used techniques for gas detection such as electrochemical sensors, metal oxide sensor or spectroscopic methods. However, novel applications or development based on current techniques are still of interest and are in scope for this competition.

    All innovations that meet the competition challenge of identifying a potentially dangerous atmosphere in busy public places are also of interest and in scope for this competition.

  • While any gas detection method is acceptable, we are primarily interested in detecting toxic gases and transmitting the data to a larger system. This will enable us to take necessary action in the event of a positive detection. Given that the application of this technology is within busy public places, it is crucial to minimise the potential of false responses. In addition, the detection system does not have to be performed by a single detector and solutions requiring a network of sensors can also be considered.

    We want novel ideas to benefit end-users working in UK Defence and Security. Your proposal should include evidence of:

    • How you plan to develop a TRL 4 sensor that:
      • can detect more than one toxic gas
      • can alarm within a maximum of 30 seconds to the breach of appropriate AEGL of toxic gas
      • can operate unmonitored/with minimal human intervention or maintenance needed
      • can operate in an enclosed and semi enclosed environments
      • is tolerant to active spaces and various backgrounds – eg. foot traffic or vehicles
      • is suitably sized for mounting in busy detection location (Size, weight and power)
      • is low cost (Appreciation that any fully developed product would ideally be deployed in many and varied public locations)
      • is capable of being networked/ to send detection signals externally
    • theoretical development, method of advancement or proof of concept research which can demonstrate potential for translation to practical demonstration in later phases
    • innovation or a creative approach
    • clear demonstration of how the proposed work applies to any defence and security context
  • Q&A Webinar

    7 February 2024 (14:00-16:00): A Q&A webinar providing further detail on the problem space and a chance to ask questions in an open forum. If you would like to participate, please register on the Eventbrite page for Q&A 7 February.

    1 to 1 teleconference sessions

    14 February 2024 (14:00-16:00) – A series of 15 minute one-to-one teleconference sessions, giving you the opportunity to ask specific questions. If you would like to participate, please register on the Eventbrite page for 1-1s 14 February. Booking is on a first come first served basis.

    22 February 2024 (14:00-16:00) – same as above. Please register on the Eventbrite page for 1-1s 22 February.

    Competition closes: 12:00 Midday 28 March 2024 (GMT)

    Feedback release: 31 July 2024

    Contracting: Aim to start August 2024 and end 12 months later in August 2025

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