The UK Government’s joint Home Office and Department for Transport team has launched a competition to help develop innovative solutions that can protect air passengers and improve aviation security.

The £2m competition will be conducted through the government’s Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) under its £25.5m Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme, until 2021.

Participants are required to develop new technologies for detecting explosives, weapons and other threats that could be taken on-board aircraft.

The new solutions must cause minimal inconvenience to passengers and reduce delays for cargo operations.

UK aviation minister Lord (Tariq) Ahmad said: “Keeping passengers safe is our absolute priority.

“The threat to aviation is continuing to evolve and we must remain both vigilant and a step ahead with our response. The recent UN Security Council resolution on Aviation Security, which was championed by the UK has called on States to promote new technologies and innovative techniques.

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"We are investing in research to raise screening standards, and helping to create a safer and more secure transport system."

“Through this competition we are investing in research to raise screening standards, and helping to create a safer and more secure transport system.”

The challenge will offer up to £1m of funding for each of its two phases.

At the end of the first phase, selected participants will demonstrate proof of concept of their technology and explain their proposed approach to convert it into an operational solution.

Qualifying proposals will enter the second phase of the challenge, in which up to £1m additional funding will be provided.

The proposals are expected to be sent by 19 January.