Innovation Exchange Challenge: Airborne DNA Collection

The challenge is to collect human DNA samples from within enclosed spaces without the need for forensics officers to enter the collection environment.

Opportunity Details


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The indicative budget for this challenge is £60k per solution provider. Higher budgets are available for consortia.

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About the challenge

National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTIx) is partnering with the Operational Technology Co-Creation Centre (OCCS) to identify methods for the remote capture and/or processing of non-airborne and/or airborne DNA samples.

The challenge is to collect human DNA samples from within buildings and other enclosed spaces for identification and/or confirmation purposes without the need for forensics officers to enter the collection environment themselves. This could be due to a live threat situation or because the collection environment is inaccessible or unsafe to enter.

View the recording of the briefing event on 4th May.

Read the FAQs from the briefing session.

  • This challenge is for academics, innovators, and innovative companies with a passion for solving challenges and making a difference. Proposals are welcomed from academia and industry. Collaborative proposals are encouraged to pool their collective strengths to co-create a viable solution to this challenge. Additional funding may be made available for collaborative proposals.

    If you have the skills, knowledge, and desire to collaborate and develop effective, user-driven technology that is critical to national security, then this is the challenge for you.

    Companies applying should be UK based or within 5-Eyes countries (UK/US/Canada/Australia/NZ).

  • As part of an agile team working collaboratively with OCCS, successful applicants will have access to funding for their projects. Additionally, if the initial project shows promising concepts, follow-on project funding may be likely.

    This is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with National Security, Community Collaborators, and Solution Providers to make a significant impact in national security by solving the challenge for remote collection of airborne DNA and/or surface-based remote DNA collection, analysis, and identification.

  • All parties were invited to an open Briefing Call via MS Teams on Thursday 4th May, where members of the OCCS Challenge Team were available to provide additional context and information on this Challenge, and where attendees could ask Clarification Questions. NB; please note that failure to attend the Briefing Call does not exclude Community Collaborators and suppliers from submitting a proposal by the deadline stated below.

    All enquiries from the Briefing Call have been collated into an FAQ document: click here to read it.

    For more information, please see the NSTIx Leaflet in digital form or watch the recording from the briefing event below.


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