Tech innovators urged to use their skills to tackle terror threat

Up to £2 million is to be made available to unlock innovation and fast track new technology to combat the next generation of terrorist threat.

The UK is already renowned for its world-leading academics, researchers, engineers and technology developers, but today the Government is urging these talented individuals to come together and further support our work to keep the public safe.

In his speech Security Minister Ben Wallace is expected to say:

“Society must come together to defeat terrorism which is why I am delighted to see representatives here from businesses from across the country who take seriously the need to protect the public.

“In light of the horrific attacks in London and Manchester, the Government has committed to review its counter-terror strategy and further to this I am announcing today that we are making up to £2 million available to fund research into cutting edge technology and behavioural science projects designed to keep people safe in crowds.

“The threat from terror does not stand still so neither will we, which is why we are calling on the best and the brightest from the science and technology sector to come forward with their ideas and proposals to support our ongoing work to keep people safe.”

The competition is being run in a partnership between the Home Office and Defence and Security Accelerator with support from the Royal Society. The competition is seeking research proposals from the country’s brightest talents for innovative or novel ideas to reduce the threat from terrorist attacks using weapons or explosives.

This competition forms part of the science and technology programme within the Government’s current counter-terrorism strategy.

Head of the Defence and Security Accelerator, Lucy Mason, said:

“The terrible terrorist attacks in London and Manchester shocked and appalled all of us. Protecting people from terrorism is something we can all do, industry and academics and public servants.

“We don’t have all the answers. So we must bring together the brightest minds from the private sector, and academia to help find solutions to help keep our country and people safe and secure.

“The Defence and Security Accelerator exists to help government find and exploit game-changing ideas to help the security services and police stay one step ahead of those who threaten our safety. By funding and fast tracking the development of real solutions, we help to bring the innovation community together, rapidly.

“So today I reach out to our innovation community to be part of something bigger and show their support for their country. I’d encourage anyone who feels they have a great idea that can help keep our crowded areas safe to visit our website for more information on this competition.”

Vice-President of the Royal Society, Professor Alex Halliday, said:

“Research and innovation are key to improving lives in so many ways. That includes finding new ways to fight terrorist threats.

“I am sure the ingenuity of the UK’s innovators will deliver new technologies that will help make us all safer.”