MOD seeks proposals to improve NDE for the military


The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has just released three Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Calls, including one on Non-Destructive Evaluation.

Up to £1 million is available for Phase 1 of this two-phase competition, which seeks innovative technologies, concepts and solutions to optimise NDE capabilities. Of particular interest are compact, portable and military-deployable solutions that improve operating capability and drive supply chain and inventory efficiencies.

This challenge seeks innovative concepts that could improve NDE within the deployed and fixed environment and provide a mixture of the following benefits:

  • Accurately measure/monitor equipment/components to optimise maintenance plans.
  • Reduce inventory costs by applying non-intrusive system monitoring.
  • Improve operational agility by reducing the logistical burden.

These may address one or more of the following three themed areas:

  • Open theme – exploitation of any appropriate NDE concepts will be pursued under this theme.
  • Airworthiness – a specific opportunity exists to develop an approach or technology that would permit the assessment of aircraft fuel and hydraulic seals in-situ.
  • Individual Protection – including three specific areas: soft body armour, hard body armour and helmets.
The Small Business Research Initiative originated in the UK Government's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and is now being rolled-out across government departments. SBRI is run by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board). SBRI is similar to the MOD Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) and is modelled on the US SBIR – Small Business Innovation Research – scheme. All aim to provide funding to nurture innovative ideas that would otherwise not be developed.

SBRI proposals can be submitted by any size organisation, from an individual, through small-to-medium enterprises to large companies. Proposals would generally be in the low tens of £k to around £100k and would be fully funded. It is envisaged that 6-10 Phase 1 proposals will be funded from each Call.

Phase 2 funding, to develop working prototypes, will be available for those projects that demonstrate the greatest potential at the end of the Phase 1 contract.
Proposals resulting from the NDE Call must be submitted by noon on Wednesday 19 August 2015. All proposals must be submitted via the Innovate UK portal (

A briefing event will be held in London on Tuesday 14 July 2015. To register, visit:

If sold out, those who would like to attend should register their interest and they will be placed on a waiting list. If enough people register, a second event may be arranged.

For any queries related to the technical aspects this Call, email the DES TECH-Tech Office at: