DASA have launched a new Open Call Innovation Focus Area: Countering IEDs by Novel Technology and Techniques. We are seeking proposals that can rapidly accelerate and enhance electronic capabilities which can counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). We are looking for novel methods which either use the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum or provide an understanding of the RF spectrum in order to detect and disrupt the functionality of IEDs.

There are 3 challenge areas:

  • Challenge 1 – To capture and analyse RF signals using novel spectrum survey techniques
  • Challenge 2 – Approaches to permanently or temporarily disable commercial communications links and/or the electronics within a Remote Controlled Explosive Device.
  • Challenge 3 – New or novel hardware and ancillaries (system components)

We are looking for projects to deliver solutions at TRL 5/6 , with project duration of 6-18 months to the value of between £150k and £400k.

Full details can be found using this link. 

The Weapons Sector Research Framework (WSRF) has released an innovation call covering Next Generation Technologies for Hypersonic Weapons. These include advances in Materials; Guidance, Navigation and Control; Fuzing/Warhead; Aerodynamics/Aerothermal; and Propulsion systems as well as other applicable novel technologies. The overall budget is between £1-1.5M and the closing date for proposals is 10th June 2022.

WSRF is a partnership of currently over 100 organisations of different sizes (including academia) established through Dstl, with the management undertaken by QinetiQ. It builds upon the research conducted by the Weapons Science and Technology Centre (WSTC).

More information including details on IP, submission formats and marking criteria can be found using this link.

DASA has launched two new Innovation Focus Areas.

1. Double Act: National Security Technologies

A number of Challenges will be launched under this Innovation Focus Area (IFA) which is run on behalf of the National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTiX) Operational Tech Co-Creation Centre. Information about NSTiX is available to view using this link.

Challenge 1 focuses on addressing audio and visual capture hardware and software innovations to capture, store, transfer and tag audio, visual and audio/visual evidence. This is vital to ensure that visual data can be captured and analysed efficiently. We are seeking projects with a maximum value of £100k. This Challenge will be open until midday 14th of September. Projects should begin at TRL4 and finish at TRL6. Projects will last 3-6 months.

More information is available to view using this link.

2. Human augmentation

This IFA is focused on generation-after-next technologies. DASA expects to fund proposals of around £70k which provide a proof of concept (TRL3) within a 6-month contract

More information available using this link. 

If you have any questions, please get in touch and we’ll send you our ‘Top tips’ for applications. Deb (djcarr@dasa.service.mod.uk) – Innovation Partner

Support in Mind Scotland is delighted to be working in partnership with Mental Health UK and Neptune Energy to deliver the ‘Rural Connections’ Project. The project aims to improve mental health and wellbeing throughout rural Scotland by providing fully funded introductory mental health awareness training to rural organisations and businesses with less than 50 members of staff. In addition, the project aims to support businesses to implement and strengthen workplace wellbeing policies/activity.

The project is funded until March 2024.

Introductory Mental Health Awareness Training

Four- hour (2×2 hour Zoom sessions) ‘An Insight into Mental Health’ courses can be delivered directly to your staff team or individuals can join an ‘Open Course’. ‘Open’ courses will be compromised of participants from a range of organisations and are a good way to access the training if you only have a few members of staff. The awareness sessions cover of the following topics:

  • What is mental health and mental illness
  • An introduction to some common mental health conditions
  • The benefits of managing stress
  • A four-step process to building safe and supportive conversations
  • How to look after you own mental health and wellbeing

Workplace Wellbeing

There has been an increasing interest in improving workplace wellbeing over the last few years, particularly in light of the Covid pandemic and the impact that it has had on our mental health. There is a strong economic reason for prioritising your employees wellbeing with over 70 million working days lost in 2019/20 due to Stress, Anxiety and Depression. According to Deloitte in 2017, if an employer invests in their employees wellbeing they could see a return on investment of up to 9 times. However, there is also a strong case for supporting the mental health of your employees as a caring and responsible employer – investing in the mental wellbeing of your staff team is beneficial for everyone.

It is often the case that employers would like to embed wellbeing within the workplace but may not have the time/resource or simply not know where to start. There are plenty of resources listed below that can help you create a wellbeing policy that include information about supporting colleagues that are off work, challenging stigma, and the ‘Mental Health at Work Commitment’. However, even taking on a few simple actions can be highly beneficial and focusing on what you ‘can do’ within your time, budget and resources is worthwhile.

Taking a first step to promoting and supporting workplace wellbeing does not have to be time-consuming or involve a cost, for example:

  • If you are a rural employer with less than 50 members of staff, then enquire about the funded mental health training above. The training can help to develop everyone’s awareness about mental health, start conversations and challenge stigma
  • Embedding mental health in your work culture – can you add wellbeing ideas to the staff meeting, a monthly ‘wellbeing café’ or even a staff survey to explore staff suggestions for improving workplace wellbeing
  • Lunch time walking or reading group
  • Staff support/supervision sessions – include a question such as ‘Where are you today mood-wise on a 1-10 scale?’ This can provide an opportunity for staff to think about and share how they are feeling
  • Tie in to local and national organisations who can provide information, support and guidance e.g., Breathing Space and Samaritans free phone helpline and web services (newsletters, payslips, intranet, staff rooms)
  • Allow a weekly ‘wellbeing window’. One working hour per week to take time for an employee’s self-care (relaxing, yoga, reading, sitting quietly with a coffee…)
  • Meeting times – schedule 50-minute meetings instead of one hour and 25 minute meetings instead of 30 minutes – this has been trialed in a national organisation that reported its benefits!

For more information about how your organisation could benefit from the funded opportunity, please click here. If you’d like to arrange a session, reach out to us and we can help you to do that. You can email us at info@caithnesschamber.com

DASA has partnered with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to run a themed competition on the remote monitoring of sensitive sites. As a minimum, funded projects will finish at TRL3/4. We have £750K to fund at least 10 projects. Projects must finish by May 2023. There are three Challenges:

  • Challenge 1: built environment and infrastructure
  • Challenge 2: land use
  • Challenge 3: security and resilience

Earth observation, robotics and autonomy could all be important for this competition. More details are here.

DASA are holding a dial-in session on the 31st of March and two one-to-one sessions on the 5th and 6th of April. Booking links are in the competition document. Please note that these fill quickly. Use this link to find the booking links.

If you are a UK business specialising in delivering products and/or services in any of the BYOND MOBILE priority industries (5G; Life Sciences and Digital Health; Agriculture and Biotech; or Manufacturing and Robotics; Future Mobility, Smart City) please complete this application to register your interest in being selected as part of the UK Pavilion for this exhibition.

Please register before the 31st of March using this link.

DIT will cover the costs to exhibit at Byond Mobile but all other costs associated with attending the show (e.g. flights, accommodation etc) will be the responsibility of the individual companies. If you have any questions, please direct these to laura.prieto@trade.gov.uk

The Department for International Trade is pleased to invite you to a webinar on 28th March 2022 from 9am – 10.35am on the recently signed Digital Economic Agreement, the world’s most innovative trade agreement to learn more about the content of the agreement, the plans for implementation and what opportunities it presents for UK – Singapore cooperation.  The prospective speakers include:

  • Minister Freer, Minister for Exports, Department for International Trade
  • Danny Langley, Head of Telecoms and Digital Trade, Department for International Trade
  • Xin Juan Chua, Director, Singapore Professional Services Program Office

For more information and to register please follow this link.

The Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) has issued a number of notices to exporters in the last 2 weeks on sanctions against Russia and the impact on strategic export licences.

You are invited to attend a webinar on 23/03/2022 from 2pm – 3.30pm to hear more about the breadth of UK sanctions and financial sanctions:

Date: 24 March 2022

Time: 2pm to 3:30pm

Webinar: MS Teams

You will hear on these topics from the following government departments:

  • scope of the sanctions – Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, Sanctions Task Force
  • scope and application of trade sanctions – ECJU
  • financial Sanctions: restrictions and general licences – HM Treasury Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI)
  • Export Support Service Ukraine / Russia – Department for International Trade
  • enforcement of trade sanctions – HM Revenue and Customs

There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the event. We also welcome your questions beforehand so we can address as many issues as possible within the time.

Register to attend here. 

The Department for International Trade secures UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade.

Join Matt Little for this workshop focusing on how to take your cyber business to the next level of internationalisation.

Wednesday 23rd March from 10am – 11.30am.

To register, email: matt.newman@trade.gov.uk