Thales to lead search for innovation in aviation security

Thales UK and Intellect have announced the launch of a project to identify and trial new technologies, solutions and ideas from any small, medium or large-sized business or academic institution that can be used to enhance aviation security.
Known as the INSTINCT-Technology Demonstrator 2 (TD2), this is a dynamic, innovative project that is designed to discover, trial and showcase emergent security technologies, solutions and ideas. These will be validated through trials and analysis conducted in a combination of live physical environments, including UK Airports and synthetic environ¬ments. Support to develop technologies, solutions or ideas into real products that can be quickly implemented within the aviation security environment is a key deliverable for the INSTINCT-TD2 project, as is the awareness of these ‘products’ and their capabilities by the airport, airline and security authorities and companies.
Participation in the project is sought from any person, company or academic institution (‘demonstrators’), regardless of size or location, that has a technology, solution or idea that could improve aviation security at any stage in the air travel process, from the point of planning and booking a trip, through to boarding an aircraft. Ideally this would improve, or at least not affect, passenger experience and/or airport revenues.
Specific benefits to successful demonstrators include:
• the opportunity to share in a cash prize from a prize fund of £50,000, provided by Thales;
• the opportunity to test their technology, solution or idea in a real environment that they wouldn’t normally be able to access;
• gaining invaluable knowledge of the aviation security environment and the application of their technology within this market;
• access to aviation and industry experts to help them to trial, demonstrate and market their technology in the best possible way;
• access to a wide range of potential customers and end users;
• coaching and support in the development of their technology, solution or idea into a marketable product and business planning;
• financial support to offset reasonable costs associated with taking part in the trials, subject to status;
• protection of intellectual property; and
• full support and guidance throughout the entire project.
Further information can be found at, by emailing:, or by registering (via the TD2 website) for the industry day to be held in Central London on 19 August. The closing date for submissions is 21 August 2010.
*Supported by the cross-government INSTINCT programme
Under a competitive selection process, Thales UK has been chosen to lead the project, working closely with aviation and security experts from Olive Group, Human Recognition Systems, Global Security Challenge, Smith Institute, the University of Cambridge and Manchester and Birmingham airports, and supported by a number of trade and industry associations including Intellect, Security Innovation and Technology Consortium (SITC), UK Security and Resilience Industry Suppliers’ Community (RISC), Aerospace Defence Security Group (ADS) and National Security & Resilience Consortium (NS&RC).
Security Minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones says: “The threat to our security is real and is evolving, and technology can play a key role in reducing that threat. This project shows how the Government is working with industry to find those innovative and emerging technologies.”
Alex Dorrian, CEO of Thales UK, says: “Security solutions into the National Security & Resilience sector are one of Thales’s core capabilities and an area where we have considerable pedigree. Our market knowledge, understanding of integrating complex systems and products, and experience with working with universities, schools and SMEs will ensure we deliver a rigorous trial and demonstration programme, successfully guiding demonstrators through every step of the process”.
Charles Ward, Chief Operating Officer of Intellect, says: “Intellect is delighted to be involved with this project and as the leading trade association for the UK technology sector we believe this opportunity will open the doors to companies of all sizes. Intellect’s SME members play an important role in the industry as a source of new and innovative technology. This is an extremely fast moving environment where agility and creativity are also important. SMEs in the UK have proven consistently adept at finding pioneering solutions to constantly evolving requirements and play a vital role in the security ecosystem. It is important they are given the opportunity to trial and showcase their solutions.”