Our Assessment Criteria Are Changing

We are introducing new assessment criteria for all proposals

Rays of Light

Rays of Light

As we continue to expand our options for how we run competitions, we are also continually reviewing our processes to make DASA more accessible for suppliers and our Defence and Security customers.

As part of our transformation, we will be introducing new assessment criteria to make submitting and assessing a proposal easier for you and our technical assessors.

Baseline criteria

The baseline criteria are:


DASA funds innovations that solve defence and/or security challenges where there is clear support from the end users or sponsors who will exploit them. We will look for evidence in your proposal of user relevance and benefits, as well as user support/ buy-in for your innovation.


We want to be sure that your innovation has a good chance of success from a scientific, technical and practical perspective, and we are interested in how novel your idea is.


In this criteria, we’re looking for evidence of a robust and affordable project plan to show that your idea can be delivered within the project scope and timelines. We will also look at your outline plans to develop and integrate your innovation beyond the project end.

Supporting guidance

The baseline criteria will apply to all competitions. However, there will be minor variations between competitions in order to meet the specific needs of each. Therefore, each of the baseline criteria is supported by additional notes and guidance which can be found:

  • in the competition document for the relevant competition
  • in the submission template used by you to prepare and submit your proposal

These criteria will be introduced for Cycle 3 of the Open Call for Innovation. Competitions which are already live will continue to use the old criteria. Therefore, if you are submitting proposals to multiple competitions, you will need to be aware of the potential variation until the old criteria have been fully phased out.

The competition document will state which criteria are in use. However, if you are unsure about which criteria apply, please get in touch with us by email accelerator@dstl.gov.uk

£5million To Attract Over 100 Industry Experts Into Teaching

Multimillion pound fund launched to attract experienced industry professionals to teach in further education



A £5million scheme calling on experts from across a range of technical sectors to work in further education has been launched today by Skills Minister Anne Milton.

The Taking Teaching Further programme will pay for up to 150 professionals from sectors such as engineering and computing to retrain as further education teachers.

This expertise will be an important part of the roll out of the first gold standard T Level qualifications – high quality technical courses equivalent to A levels – from September 2020, as well as supporting the wider sector.

The first three T Levels will be taught in more than 50 colleges from 2020, with the remaining 22 phased in after that. This landmark reform will provide young people with a genuine choice between technical and academic education post-16.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

Teaching in further education is an incredibly rewarding career. It is an opportunity to pass on your knowledge and skills and give someone the chance of a rewarding career.

I am thrilled to announce this excellent new programme. Attracting the best of industry into the further education sector will help students gain the knowledge and skills that industry really needs.

We are improving education for everyone and crucially plugging the skills gap. This is central to the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to make sure we are all equipped for the jobs of the future.

If you have had a career in industry and are willing to help us skill-up a new generation, do get involved.

Taking Teaching Further fulfils a manifesto commitment to bring industry expertise and practical experience into England’s further education sector, so students are gaining the skills and knowledge that will help them secure good jobs, while also providing businesses with the skilled workforce they need.

The programme has been designed with the Association of Colleges and the Education and Training Foundation, to create further links between the education sector and industry.

Principal at York College and President of Association of Colleges Alison Birkinshaw said:

It is absolutely crucial that our colleges recruit, retain and continually develop our lecturers and other staff so that they are up to date with their skills, particularly those working in shortage specialisms. This programme is a well-timed and exciting way to support individuals from industry who now want to teach the skills they have learned.

David Russell, Chief Executive of the Education and Training Foundation, said:

This timely programme will bring in rich new talent and expertise, improving learner outcomes and supporting the development of the existing workforce. We are delighted to be playing a key role in the development and implementation of Taking Teaching Further.

The fund will cover course costs of teacher training as well as support and mentoring. It will also fund 40 innovative projects that will help develop local partnerships and collaborations aimed at supporting an ongoing exchange between industry and further education.

The programme will be delivered by the Education and Training Foundation on behalf of the Department for Education.

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said:

This programme is a great opportunity to help attract even more industry experts into the sector. It’s also a great chance for teachers to be updated with the latest industry practice.

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills created with Barclays

Through our experience of running the Barclays LifeSkills programme, industry has a valuable role to play in equipping young people with the skills needed for work and life. By working together through programmes like Taking Teaching Further, educators, industry professionals and the Government can help young people develop a wide range of skills that will help them thrive in successful and fulfilling jobs.

Chris Fairclough is a Lecturer in Nuclear Plant, and Academic Lead for Degree Apprenticeships (Nuclear) at Lakes College and the National College for Nuclear in Cumbria.

I chose to teach in Further Education after a successful engineering career in the Nuclear industry, as I always felt I had an affinity towards training during my industrial years. In my last position – as Technical Support Engineer at Sellafield Ltd for 8 years – I guest lectured for a local training provider, and I decided that training and education was for me!

I love teaching in FE. I enjoy working with people who have the same objectives – to give the students the best possible learning experience to increase their chance of employment. I want to stay in FE for the foreseeable future. I am an ambitious person and FE allows you to be ambitious. There is room to grow as a teacher, as a mentor, as a student and as a manager if you so wish.

Rob Long, 58, is a lecturer in Engineering at Southport College. He is at the end of his first year of teaching, and is studying for a PGCE.

I had a 40-year career in engineering, before becoming a lecturer in Engineering at Southport College in 2017. My last engineering position was consulting on the routine inspection of nuclear power stations.

Having started my career as a 16-yr-old in mechanical engineering apprentice – before later progressing to completing a PhD in Ultrasonic Testing of Concrete Structures in my late 30s – I chose to teach in Further Education, rather than schools, as this gives me an opportunity to share my life and engineering experience with those about to enter the workplace.

Now I’m coming towards the end of my first year of teaching, I find I am experiencing great satisfaction seeing students aged 16-19 who have progressed beyond the stories that they had about themselves.

Joanne Rowell is a Trainer Assessor in Early Years and Supporting Teaching and Learning at Nottingham College.

I became an Assessor in Early Years Education at Nottingham College in 2017 after a ten-year career in an early years setting, including running a pre-school. Having been an employer in the sector, I wanted to teach good practice to future Early Years Staff and Teaching Assistants. I’ve found this industry experience gives me a huge advantage, in that I have a depth of knowledge that helps support students in their desired outcomes.

I love my job, it’s hard work but very rewarding when you have supported students to achieve a qualification in education.

British Army Set To Redefine Warfare With Joint Autonomous Warrior

The British Army has launched the game-changing Autonomous Warrior (Land) experiment at the RUSI Land Warfare conference



Autonomous Warrior, the 2018 Army Warfighting Experiment, will push the boundaries of technology and military capability in the land environment.

And one of the key areas it is set to test is the autonomous last mile resupply. The ‘last mile’, which represents the extremely dangerous final approach to the combat zone, is crucial to ensuring soldiers have the food, fuel and ammunition to keep them alive.

Autonomous Warrior will test a range of prototype unmanned aerial and ground cargo vehicles which aim to reduce the danger to troops during combat.

The British Army is set to launch the four-week exercise on November 12, with a Battlegroup from 1 Armed Infantry brigade providing the exercising troops and taking responsibility of command and control.

British soldiers will test and evaluate the effectiveness of robotic and autonomous systems (RAS) on the battlefield.

These technological advances will play a key role in the Army’s Strike capability, ensuring our forces remain unmatched on the global stage.

Defence Minister Mark Lancaster said:

Our Armed Forces continue to push the limits of innovative warfare to ensure that we stay ahead of any adversaries or threats faced on the battlefield.

Autonomous Warrior sets an ambitious vision for Army operations in the 21st Century as we integrate drones, unmanned vehicles and personnel into a world-class force for decades to come.

As well as demonstrating the vehicles during the last mile, Autonomous Warrior will also develop capabilities in surveillance which will greatly improve the effectiveness of long-range and precision targeting by service personnel.

The exercise is the result of a large collaboration between the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, US Army, MOD, Dstl and around 50 industry participants.

The new Chief of the General Staff, Gen Mark Carleton-Smith, who will give his first address in his new role at the conference, setting out the backdrop of a “darkening geo-political picture” as he calls for British forces to be “combat ready today and prepared for tomorrow”.

Giving the closing address, Gen Carleton-Smith will stress the need for British forces to work with their allies not just in the battlefield, but also in the virtual world. He will warn that “we live in exceptionally unstable times and that the world has never been more unpredictable”.

As he describes how “the nature of warfare is broadening beyond the traditional physical domains” he will add that 21st Century battlefield requires non-traditional skills, beyond those normally associated with careers in Army, to ensure British forces remain world leaders.

Gen Mark Carleton-Smith will say:

We need a more proactive, threat-based approach to our capability planning, including placing some big bets on those technologies that we judge may offer exponential advantage because given the pace of the race, to fall behind today is to cede an almost unquantifiable advantage from which it might be impossible to recover.

Autonomous Warrior will play an integral role within the £800 million Defence Innovation Fund which supports ground-breaking ideas aimed at transforming both defence and British industry.

The land-based exercise follows on from the hugely successful ‘Unmanned Warrior’ which the Royal Navy demonstrated autonomous systems diving, swimming and flying together to engage in surveillance, intelligence-gathering and mine countermeasures.

Government Publishes Key Licensing Changes To Further Protect Tenants

New guidance for landlords to further protect tenants from poor living conditions has been published

Colorful Balconies

Colorful Balconies

New guidance for landlords to further protect tenants from poor living conditions has been published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government today (20 June 2018).

Following legislation introduced last month, from 1 October 2018 any landlord who lets a property to 5 or more people – from 2 or more separate households – must be licensed by their local housing authority.

The move, affecting around 160,000 houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), will mean councils can take further action to crack down on the small minority of landlords renting out sub-standard and overcrowded homes.

New rules will also come into force setting minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to prevent overcrowding. Landlords will also be required to adhere to council refuse schemes, to reduce problems with rubbish.

The guidance document includes further details on extending mandatory licensing to smaller HMOs and introducing minimum bedroom sizes as government continues to rebalance the relationship between tenants and landlords.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said:

Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live.

Today’s new guidance for landlords will further protect private renters against bad and overcrowded conditions and poor management practice.

Selective licensing

Government is also today announcing a review to look at how selective licensing is used and find out how well it is working.

In areas where selective licensing applies, landlords must apply for a licence if they want to rent out a property. This means the council can check whether they are a “fit or proper person” to be a landlord, as well as making other stipulations concerning management of the property and appropriate safety measures.

The review will see independent commissioners gather evidence from local authorities and bodies representing landlords, tenants and housing professionals.

The review’s findings will be reported in spring 2019. There will be an update on progress in autumn this year.

Further information

Selective licensing allows local housing authorities to make it compulsory for all private rented accommodation in a specified area to have a licence.

The schemes are intended to deliver improved standards and safety in the private rented sector for areas suffering serious problems.

Call For Feedback On Next Section Of £45m York Flood Alleviation Scheme

Pop along to a public drop-in on June 20

Environment Agency

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has released further details for three sections of its £45m York Flood Alleviation Scheme and is holding a public drop-in to give information and get feedback on proposals.

As well as the work the Environment Agency is doing on the Clementhorpe, New Walk and North Street sections of the £45m York Flood Alleviation Scheme, and the River Foss catchment, the Agency is developing plans for the sections that run from York Ring Road at Rawcliffe to Lendal Bridge.

This stretch is split into three sections: the ring road to Clifton Bridge; then to Scarborough Bridge; and then to Lendal Bridge.

Clifton Bridge to Scarborough Bridge

Environment Agency project manager for the work, Richard Lever, said:

The middle section of the three, Clifton Bridge to Scarborough Bridge, will be the area we will progress flood defence works first.

We are holding a drop-in so the public can view plans and give feedback on the proposals that will better protect 150 properties, the majority of which are on Almery Terrace, Sycamore Terrace, Longfield Terrace and Bootham Terrace.

Options include raising the existing flood wall at Almery Terrace and the embankment at the back of the schools’ playing fields, as well as extending the embankment.

Plans also include upgrading the pumping capacity at Burdyke pumping station, which is situated in the middle of the open area between the two bridges. The dike is culverted from near Clifton Backies to where it enters the Ouse.

The drop in will take place at the Environment Agency’s community hub on Wellington Row from 12-7pm on Wednesday (20 June).

The proposals will remain on display for a further four weeks for members of the public to provide feedback.

Ring Road to Clifton Bridge

Mr Lever said:

The section from the ring road to Clifton Bridge will be a major part of the project, better protecting 140 homes, and include raising the embankment and increasing the embankment length towards the Park & Ride, and to behind the Homestead and the YHA.

We are also investigating building a pumping station on Blue Beck, which runs into the Ouse.

We recognise that Clifton Ings and Rawcliffe Meadows are a widely used and much loved public amenity, as well as being a Site of Special Scientific Interest and includes important grasslands, the tansy beetle, bats and newts.

We are currently involved in discussions with key partners, including Natural England, Sustrans and Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows, in how we can minimise the impact on the habitat, cause the least inconvenience while work is being undertaken and maintain amenities when work is complete.

Dependent on these discussions, we are aiming to submit the planning permission for this section before the end of the year.

Scarborough Bridge to Lendal Bridge

Mr Lever said:

For the Scarborough Bridge to Lendal Bridge section we are working with partners, including Historic England, on options for flood defence improvements in Museum Gardens, which help better protect homes in the Marygate area.

This includes raising the current embankment at the bottom of Museum Gardens or looking at a flood wall running up the Marygate side of the gardens.

We are also investigating the best way to raise and improve the flood gate at the bottom of Marygate.

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