DASA Competition: Scoping out the Grey Zone: Sub-threshold AI

DASA seeks innovations to use AI to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance of the sub-threshold Information Environment.

Opportunity Details


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DASA expects to fund a number of proposals of up to £300k each in value, or possibly one exceptional proposal of up to £800k.



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This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition is seeking novel and innovative proposals to help explore the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play in improving the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) ability to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) of the sub-threshold information environment. (This means “actions below the threshold of war which have a signature in the information environment, although the action itself may be in the physical or the information domain.”)

The sub-threshold encapsulates all activity up to, but not crossing, the legal definition of armed conflict.

Can you help Defence:

  • Apply AI to identify actions in the sub-threshold information environment which are hostile?
  • Use AI to understand the intent and attribution of those actions?
  • Use AI to help UK Defence to generate possible courses of action in the information environment?

We want to improve our options to develop technology that enables processing, understanding and exploitation of the vast quantity of data at machine speed, improving our ability to:

  • understand actions in the sub-threshold, and identify which are, or appear to be hostile
  • understand the implications and reach of activities in the sub-threshold
  • attribute actions to actors
  • identify likely or plausible intent or consequences
  • propose plausible response options

Total funding available

The total possible funding available for this competition is £800,000 (ex VAT), and we expect to fund a number of proposals of up to £300k (Exc. VAT) each in value, over a maximum project duration of 6 months and must be complete by March 2024. However, DASA reserves the right to fund one outstanding bid up to £800,000 (Exc. VAT) that demonstrates value for money, provides high quality supporting evidence of platform performance to date and a detailed project plan to deliver on the competition challenges.

DASA are looking to fund proposals across a range of maturity levels. We are interested in lower TRL ideas for acceleration, through to ideas which apply AI at TRL6.

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

A dial-in session will be held on Tuesday 25 April 2023, 10am-noon, 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. To get the most out of this session, we strongly advise that you attend with a good knowledge of the competition document.


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