The Home Office, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) are seeking novel ideas that can help shape the future of aviation and border security in the UK.
The two departments have announced a funding of £4.5m, which will be available for developers to come up with the next generation of aviation and border security solutions.
The competition has been launched under the Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme, whose objective is to bring in a step change in aviation security by applying innovative science and technology.
Essentially, the new funding programme is seeking novel solutions to improve security at airports, the border and other screening sites. Funding will be available to selected parties over the coming two years to support ideas that can improve the screening of people and goods and enhance the detection of dangerous, illicit and contraband items.
The competition, which is open for academics and industry experts with pioneering ideas in these areas, will close for proposals on 1 July 2019.
DfT and DASA said that due to the global shift towards a more integrated transport system, greater autonomy and automation, the competition is also looking to fund innovations capable of combining current and future security concepts.
The departments, in particular, are seeking for a more optimised and non-intrusive screening experience for passengers and staff alike with security processes working together to screen individuals in airports.
The competition is said to consolidate on the UK government’s commitment in aviation strategy and counter-terrorism strategy, called CONTEST, to continually strengthen the country’s and international aviation security standards to make sure that the skies stay safer for everyone at home and abroad.
UK Security Minister Ben Wallace said: “The FASS is continuing to fulfil its vital role of bringing government, industry and experts together to ensure that the UK continues to be amongst the best in the world at developing technologies which keep us ahead of the threats that we all sadly face.
“This competition will help to protect passengers by contributing to keeping dangerous and illegal items off our planes and bolstering our border security, whilst having the added benefit of improving their travel experience.”