News article

SBRI: Better detection of illicit goods in the post

27 December 2018


Funding for innovative detection technologies at the UK border

Innovate UK is working with the Home Office and Border Force to invest up to £250,000 in projects that develop new ways of detecting illicit goods in letters and parcels arriving at UK borders.

Funding is provided by the GovTech Catalyst under the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme.

In phase 1 of the competition, organisations can apply for funding to run a feasibility study to develop innovative solutions for deployment in the international postal and fast parcel border environment.

The proposed solutions should:

  • be adaptive and non-disruptive
  • have no effect on the flow of goods at the UK border
  • improve the ability to detect illicit goods passing through postal and fast parcel border facilities

Projects should address one or more of the following challenges to:

  • reduce physical intervention in the scanning process, by using more automation
  • increase how much can be scanned in a given period
  • be more dynamic and adaptable

The competition is open to organisations of any size. Innovate UK expect to fund up to five projects in phase 1, each with eligible costs of up to £50,000, including VAT. Projects are expected to last up to three months.

A further £500,000 could be available to successful projects in the second phase of the competition to produce and test a product for commercial use.

Registration for applications closes at noon on Wednesday 16 January 2019.

Find out more about the competition and apply.