Underground tunnelling presents an array of opportunities and challenges, so the MoD would like to know how technologies and capabilities in this area could be better harnessed for future operations. In particular there is an interest in how to better access hostile and constrained subterranean environments. The latest HMGCC Co-Creation challenge is to demonstrate ways of producing subterranean pathways, preferably greater than 60mm diameter, with minimal chance of being detected.

Organisations are being asked to apply if they have the capability / technology to contribute to early and ambitious concept demonstrators in a 12 week project. HMGCC Co-Creation will provide funding for time, material, overheads and other indirect expenses.

Key information

Budget up to £60,000
Project duration 12 weeks
Competition opens Monday 8 July 2024
Competition closes Thursday 15 August 2024 at 5:00pm

Context of the challenge

There is a long history of industry, civil authorities and military using underground access to their advantage. The MoD is interested in using novel, automated methods to produce underground tunnels, opening new routes of access into otherwise difficult to reach locations. It is critical that any methods to produce these have a low probability of detection from adversaries.

Key Dates

Who should apply?

This challenge is open to sole innovators, industry, academic and research organisations of all types and sizes. There is no requirement for security clearances.
Solution providers or direct collaboration from countries listed by the UK government under trade sanctions and/or arms embargoes, are not eligible for HMGCC Co-Creation challenges.

Evaluation criteria

All proposals, regardless of the application route, will be assessed by the HMGCC Co-Creation team. Proposals will be scored 1–5 on the following criteria:

Scope: Does the proposal fit within the challenge scope, taking into consideration cost and benefit?

Innovation: Is the technical solution credible, will it create new knowledge and IP, or use existing IP?

Deliverables: Will the proposal deliver a full or partial solution, if a partial solution, are there collaborations identified?

Timescale: Will the proposal deliver a minimum viable product within the project duration?

Budget: Are the project finances within the competition scope?

Team: Are the organisation / delivery team credible in this technical area?

How to apply

Applications close: 15 August 2024

Please find details on how to apply, as well as more information about the challenge, here.

Apply now

Supporting documents

Full challenge informationTerms and Conditions

HMGCC Co-Creation supporting information

HMGCC works with the national security community, UK government, academia, private sector partners and international allies to bring engineering ingenuity to the
national security mission, creating tools and technologies that drive us ahead and help to protect the nation.

HMGCC Co-Creation is a partnership between HMGCC and Dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), created to deliver a new, bold and innovative way of
working with the wider UK science and technology community. We bring together the best in class across industry, academia, and government, to work collaboratively on national security engineering challenges and accelerate innovation.

HMGCC Co-Creation is part of the NSTIx Co-Creation network, which enables the UK government national security community to collaborate on science, technology
and innovation activities and to deliver these in partnership with a more diverse set of contributors for greater shared impact and pace.

HMGCC Co-Creation aims to work collaboratively with the successful solution providers by utilising in-house delivery managers working Agile by default. This
process will involve access to HMGCC Co-Creation’s technical expertise and facilities to bring a product to market more effectively than traditional customer/supplier relationships.