The Space to Innovate Campaign – Charlie Drop Competition, is now open.

This Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition aims to attract novel scientific and technological solutions from a broad range of innovators, including academia and industry, in order to address some of the UK’s Defence and Security space challenges.

The objective of this campaign is to fund research into space science and technologies that may not otherwise be developed within the civil space industry and academia. This will address a set of specific problems in the space domain, as outlined in the campaign challenges.

This competition has three challenges. The following contracts are available across all challenges:
– up to £125,000 (excl VAT) for 6 (six) months
– up to £200,000 (excl VAT) for 12 (twelve) months
– up to £400,000 (excl VAT) for 18 (eighteen) months
– up to £500,000 (excl VAT) for 24 (twenty four) months

Projects are expected to reach TRL 3-6 at the end of the contract. This depends on the starting TRL and level and duration of investment.

Over the last two years, the publication of the Defence Space Strategy, the establishment of UK Space Command, a generational Defence investment in space in the integrated review (IR), and the re-emphasis of the central role of science and technology (S&T) in the IR refresh, have brought fresh impetus to the role of S&T innovation. Space to Innovate: Charlie Drop, is centred on three space challenges. These challenges are explicitly linked to both Space Command’s strategic priorities, as set out in the strategy, and the Ministry of Defence Chief Scientific Advisor’s requirement to pursue generation after next science, technologies and innovations for the domain.

The £1.5 million (excl VAT) available for the Charlie Drop competition is funded by MOD Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA). We expect to fund between 3 and 12 proposals over a 24 month period.

Other funding from other MOD or wider government stakeholders may become available over time; if so, this will be reflected in a revised version of the competition document. Proposals from Charlie Drop that are deemed to be ‘fundable not funded’ will be available for funding by any UK government stakeholder up to one year after the outcome decision is released to bidders.

Follow-on work will be considered on its own individual merits and is not subject to further DASA competition processes.

The submission deadline is 12.00 BST Midday on Wednesday 12 July 2023.

Dr Gemma Attrill FInstP, CPhys, MPhys
Dstl Space Systems Programme – Lead Scientist
Space Science Project Technical Authority
Chief Scientist Space Weather
Space Group
Cyber & Information Systems

Dstl Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 0JQ, UK

+44 (0)1980 957494 |