News article

Competition: Tackling knife crime in the UK

5 November 2018


Funding for new approaches and innovations in technology to help tackle knife crime

The Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) has launched a competition seeking proposals for innovative technologies and approaches that help reduce knife crime in the UK through the identification of people carrying steel-bladed knives.

DASA is interested in solutions that can identify people carrying, overtly or covertly, a wide variety of steel-bladed knives in public open spaces, including in crowds and uncontrolled areas (where there is typically limited or no police or security presence). There is a requirement to detect these knives:

  • on the person, typically in the presence of other commonly carried benign metallic items (for example, keys, phones, coins, belts/buckles, watches, jewellery)
  • carried in bags (for example, handbags, rucksacks) which may contain a variety of other metallic and non-metallic items

For the purpose of this competition, the focus will be on steel-bladed knives with a blade length greater than 7.62cm. This includes household kitchen knives and other knives designed specifically to cause serious harm or death.

DASA is interested in different approaches to address this challenge from specific detection technologies, through to advances in behavioural sciences.

The competition has an initial £500,000 for Phase 1 to fund multiple proof of concept proposals at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2 and above.

Additional funding may be available for further phases to develop the technology to a higher TRL depending on the outputs from Phase 1.

Proposals are invited from sole suppliers, including academic and industrial partners, as well as collaborative bids. You must submit your proposal for funding via the DASA submission service for which you will be required to register.

The closing date for this competition is midday on 21 November 2018.

Find out more about this competition.