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Open call: Innovative security features for bank notes

Defence and Security
Project Size:


The Open Call is one of the funding competition mechanisms DASA uses to find proposals that address challenges faced by government stakeholders. It gives bidders the opportunity to present their ideas to defence and security stakeholders at any time, without waiting for a relevant Themed Competition.

The Open Call is looking for innovative ideas to improve the defence and/or security of the UK. Your idea could be a concept, technology or service.

Whilst the Open Call welcomes a wide range of innovative ideas to solve problems faced by our defence and security customers, DASA is keen to share insight on specific topics of interest.

This specific topic of interest is “Innovative security features for bank notes”.


DASA submissions are welcome from the private sector, academia, individuals (i.e. sole traders) and public sector research establishments.  Two categories:

  • Emerging innovations for less mature innovations, typically £50,000 - £100,000 (3-10 month projects)
  • Rapid impact category is for innovations that are more developed, typically £100,000 - £350,000 (with a realistic prospect of achieving an impact within a 3 year time from project commencement)

Technology readiness levels:

  • Emerging innovations projects commence at TRL 2 or 3 to deliver proof of concept
  • Rapid impact projects re viewed as those which will deliver a technology model or prototype demonstration at TRL 6 or 7


Public confidence in currency is directly related to the ability of the user to accurately and quickly authenticate a banknote. Banknotes employ a range of visual and tactile features – such as holographic foils or optically variable coloured inks - to aid public or retailer authentication. The Bank of England is now looking ahead and inviting ideas to develop novel, overt, security features and print technologies for consideration for potential use in future generations of banknotes.

These technologies should be:

  • An innovation that uses overt technologies
  • Difficult to counterfeit or easily simulate
  • Easy and intuitive to use for the public or retailer
  • Able to function without an additional tool, however technologies that use a simple, low cost tool may be considered
  • Easy to communicate
  • Durable
  • Compatible with high volume printing techniques; representing good value for money with a high production yield
  • Suitable for integration into a banknote design

DASA is not looking for covert technologies, or those that require a sophisticated device to authenticate or decode and will not consider features that rely on mobile phones or mobile applications. Security technologies in the family of holographic foils, lenticular lens features or optically variable inks will not be considered in this call.

Direct contracts with the Bank of England will be negotiated and ownership of intellectual property under such contract will be consistent with the position adopted in the DASA terms and conditions.

Interested in this call? Book a free consultation with our team
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