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SBRI funding competition: automatic threat detection of firearms


Following recent attacks in Europe, the need to further strengthen our ability to prevent the illegal movement of firearms (by terrorists or organised crime groups) remains a high priority.

The aim of this competition is to develop methods for providing higher detection capacity and capability. At the same time, these methods should not impact on routine commercial operations.

Proposals should be for the development of innovative algorithms for the ATD of firearms, their components and ammunition. Our intention is that the algorithm(s) will be suitable for use with x-ray screening systems at the border. These algorithms may also be suitable for other counter-terrorism and security applications. They may be extended to detect other forms of contraband.

We expect the output from this 2-phase competition to be a working prototype of an ATD algorithm for use with existing X-ray scanning equipment. It will be able to detect firearms across different modes of transport:

  • aviation

  • rail

  • maritime

All firearms are within the scope of this project.

At least 50% of the contract value must be for research and development (R&D) services.

R&D can include solution exploration and design. It can also include prototyping and field-testing the product or service. R&D does not include:

  • commercial development activities such as quantity production

  • supply to establish commercial viability or to recover R&D costs

  • integration, customisation or incremental adaptations and improvements to existing products or processes

The competition has 2 phases.

Phase 1

In phase 1 you show the technical feasibility of your proposed concept. Development contracts will be for up to 4 months. A total of £1 million is available to fund projects with up to approximately £50,000 (excluding VAT) each.

Phase 2

We may invite the most promising projects in phase 1 to take part in phase 2. Phase 2 is open only to organisations that have completed phase 1. This phase is for developing and evaluating prototypes or demonstrators. A total of £1 million is available to fund projects with up to approximately £200,000 (excluding VAT) each.

Full details of the requirements and process can be found shortly at the Innovate UK site: 

The Briefing Day will be held on the 7th July 2016 in a Central London location (applicants will be informed of the location no later than the 1st July 2016).

Whilst not essential, it is recommended that you try and make the briefing event. Given the short notice for this activity, if you are unable to attend, we would be grateful for you to consider an alternative attendee.

The day will consist of talks covering:

  • Policy context
  • Call specifics
  • Application and commercial aspects
  • Operational users

To register for free, please use the link below:


Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions - Matt Butchers (07715082259


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