Funding Opportunities from the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA)
The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) is 4-years old and is part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) but works across Government Departments (e.g. blue-light community, Home Office, Department of Transport, Border Force etc.).
DASA finds, funds and fast-tracks innovations that benefit the Armed Forces and National Security. They work between TRL 2 and 6 on the MOD’s TRL scale . DASA runs Themed Competitions, Market Explorations and the Open Call for Innovation. It is always worth looking at any Themed Competitions even if the title does not immediately look like you might have an interest as the individual Challenges are often diverse. Market Explorations are pre-competition market surveys. The Open Call is open all year round and is divided into broadly two-monthly Cycles. Closure dates for the remainder of the current financial year are 28 January 2021 and 31 March 2021. DASA run two streams in the Open Call:
1. The Emerging Innovation Stream is for projects between TRL 2 and 4. You can apply for a maximum 12-month project. There is no funding limit but funded projects tend to be <£200K.
2. The Rapid Impact Innovation Stream is for projects between TRL 4 and 6. You can apply for a maximum 24-month project. There is no funding limit but funded projects tend to be <£400K.
DASA provide 100% funding and respect your IP. You can apply for funding for people, materials and consumables, equipment, overheads (indirect costs) and T&S. DASA funding is eligible for R&D Tax Credits. If you are an academic please don’t apply for conference funding and provide staff costs as a daily FEC. Break out as much of overheads/indirect costs as possible so DASA Assessors can consider value for money (VFM). DASA do not fund PhD projects.
To date (until end October 2020) DASA have received 3864 applications from 1547 organisations (sole-traders and micro-organisations 35%, SMEs 28%, Academia 20%, Large Organisations 17%). Of these, 40% have never worked with the Defence and Security sector. DASA have funded 773 projects from 349 organisations with a funding total of £127.5M. Of these funded projects, 56% are with Small Organisations. If you are interested in what DASA have previously funded then please look at their transparency data https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accelerator-funded-contracts
To be successful with a DASA application it is critical that you identify who the End-User community will be, how they will use the idea and why it offers an advantage. The following two documents might help with this:
DASA have a regionally based Outreach Team who will also help you. These individuals are called Innovation Partners (IPs). To connect with your local IP please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/contact-a-dasa-innovation-partner