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The ASUR Programme

The objectives of ASUR are to ensure timely provision of new concepts and advanced technologies; to support the development of the UK UAS defence capability; to ensure MOD has access to advanced technologies through the industrial and academic supply chain; to utilise the strengths of universities in conducting research related to autonomous systems and to generate capability in critical technology areas for future UAS.

The guiding principles of ASUR are:

  1. The technical content of the ASUR Programme is directed by a joint MOD/Industry Steering Group (SG) which is chaired by the MOD and includes an Independent Technical Director, the Dstl ASUR Technical Lead, and representatives from the ASUR consortium. Final funding decisions rest with the MOD SG chair.
  2. A Technical Coordination Team (TCT) exists to ensure that a balanced and integrated research programme is developed and maintained across the ASUR Programme and is then delivered effectively. The TCT includes an Independent Technical Director; 2 x Dstl Project Managers; Dstl subject matter experts and the ASUR consortium members.
  3. ASUR does not undertake fundamental research (TRL0 or TRL1) – but is concerned with research that has exploitation potential.
  4. ASUR formally engaged with suppliers via themed research calls each programme year.
  5. Calls were challenge led and are generated by Themed Working Groups which bring together the collective knowledge and experience of the ASUR consortium, alongside Dstl technical experts, to facilitate the identification of priority research gaps and technology requirements.
  6. Calls were open to all sectors of the research community and were announced on the programme website:
  7. Proposals were submitted using a formal template which was designed to make assessment as easy as possible. The assessors had the option to discuss the proposal with the proposer if clarification was required.
  8. There were two types of project contract: Phase 1 contracts (up to ~£40K) were typically 3-6 months in duration. Selected Phase 2 contracts followed completion of Phase 1 contracts and typically run for 9-24 months and require a defined exploitation route.
  9. Proposals were assessed against a defined marking scheme which is linked to the MOD PAF scheme.
  10. In exceptional situations the MOD reserves the right to directly fund bids to support International Research Collaboration and classified/sensitive work.

For more information see the following sections:

The ASUR Consortium Programme Governance