Overview

The focus of this competition is on innovative autonomy and automation (including automation for additive manufacturing) for future Deployed Military Logistics Hubs. The primary aim is to inform future military user requirements pan-domain (Maritime, Land and Air), at this time, procurement of successful solutions or further development funding cannot be guaranteed.

Scope

This competition covers two areas of innovation: autonomy and automation, and additive manufacturing. Proposals which are relevant to either or both of these areas are welcomed.

2.1 Autonomy and Automation

Developments in Autonomy and Automation in recent decades, particularly in sensors and processing capabilities, have led to an increased ability for autonomous and automated systems to operate in a range of challenging environments. Dstl is seeking to understand how developments and innovation in the commercial logistics industry and conceptual thoughts within academia could be exploited to make Defence Support more effective, and enhance efficiency and safety.

2.2 Additive Manufacturing

Defence has increased its understanding of how, where and when to best make use of additive manufacturing capabilities, which has highlighted key challenges that Dstl is seeking to better understand. For instance, generating detailed technical specifications for legacy spares (where three-dimensional digital models are not readily available), and conducting Acceptance Testing of parts in-field or at deployed locations before fitting. The requirement for these capabilities at deployed locations, with constrained availability of space and skilled and qualified people, makes compact and highly automated facilities highly desirable. Deployed additive manufacturing has the potential to be utilised in the Maritime, Land and Air Domains.

Exclusions

For this competition DASA are not interested in:

  • solutions which cannot articulate a step-change in support capability
  • consultancy, paper-based studies, market surveys or literature reviews
  • projects which purely conduct data science / analytics
  • PhD proposals
  • fully manual / remotely controlled systems with no form of automated / autonomous control
  • systems and technologies which are likely to come with a significant maintenance burden
  • projects using military working animals
  • projects that cannot demonstrate feasibility within the timescales
  • any use of unmanned aircraft systems not complying with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Military Aviation Authority (MAA) regulations.
  • projects that simply demonstrate or purchase existing equipment or off-the shelf products, without undertaking further development of technology or techniques to meet the challenges proposed (unless applied to this challenge in a novel way)
  • identical resubmission of a previous bid to DASA or MOD without modification
  • projects that offer no viable long-term prospect of integration into defence and security capabilities
  • projects that offer no real prospect of out-competing existing technological solutions
  • projects which are already being developed elsewhere within UK defence, for example:
    • off-base self-driving vehicles
    • new food/water sources
    • provision of medical care

Eligibility

DASA are open to, and encourage, innovative approaches. Suppliers may submit multiple separate proposals for different solutions, but must make it clear where there are interdependencies across solutions and what the financial and capability benefits would be for funding multiple interdependent proposals.

Supplier proposals must include evidence of:

  • a clear, costed outline plan to produce a demonstrable solution
  • how the solution would be demonstrated at a MOD hosted event
  • a description of how the solution would be employed by end users within the context of a Future Deployed Military Logistics Hub as described in Section 2.2
  • how the solution’s anticipated benefits (for example, in cost, time, improved capability) will deliver a step change in capability for the Defence Support community, specifically aiming towards one or more of the following targets:
    • improving delivery of a Defence Support capability
    • achieving or supporting a strategic defence objective
    • delivering a cost saving to defence that is more than the implementation cost.

Funding Costs

The total funding available for this competition is £800k. It is most likely that a larger number of lower-value proposals (for example £40k to £80k ex. VAT) will be funded than a small number of higher-value proposals. If successful, contracts will be awarded for a maximum duration of 21 weeks.

Additional funding for further phases to increase TRL may be available. Any further phases will be open to applications from all suppliers and not just those that submitted Phase 1 successful bids.

 

Interested in applying for this competition?

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