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Novel Materials Using Synthetic Biology

We would like to invite you to attend the Defence and Security Accelerator Collaboration Event for Novel Materials and using Synthetic Biology at Chicheley Hall on the 11th September.


Please find attached a DRAFT agenda for the Collaboration Event.


This event is bringing together research funded under two Accelerator competitions:

  • Synthetic Biology for Novel Materials


Novel materials with enhanced performance in a variety of applications could really help defence and security, while also having many additional civilian, commercial uses. Synthetic biology is a rapidly developing scientific discipline that combines tools for manipulating biological systems with the core principles of engineering. This allows the rational and systematic design and construction of new biological parts, devices and systems or the re-design of existing biological systems for purposes that may not occur in nature.


The research proposals brought together multidisciplinary teams of scientists who use synthetic biology in the design and/or development of next-generation structural and functional materials.

The aim of the research is to address the technical challenges associated with developing enhanced structural and functional materials:

    • protective applications, such as novel armour solutions
    • self-healing materials
    • enhanced resistance to corrosion
    • novel adhesives

Eight short-term, highly innovative, proof-of-concept research proposals were funded. 

  • Utilising Synthetic Biology for Transparent Materials for Defence and Security


There is an increasing need in the military sector for high-strength, robust materials which have the capability to transmit light around the visible (0.4–0.7 µm) and near to mid-infrared (1–5 µm) regions of the spectrum. These materials are needed for applications requiring transparent armour. Transparent armour is a material or system of materials designed to be optically transparent, yet protect from fragmentation or ballistic impacts. The primary requirement for a transparent armour system is to not only defeat the designated threat but also provide a multi-hit capability with minimized distortion of surrounding areas. Transparent armour windows must also be compatible with night vision equipment. New materials that are thinner, lightweight, and offer better ballistic performance are being sought. As would be expected in transparent armour, any adhesive or interlayers used are required to provide strong bonding, optical clarity, adhesion to a diverse range of surfaces, toughness and flexibility. Any novel adhesive and interlayer material needs to be compatible with all elements/ materials of the transparent armour system. Countering glint and glare are specific interest areas for vehicle carried armour systems.

Nine short-term, highly innovative, proof-of-concept research proposals which started in May 2017 have been funded.


The aim of the event is to give phase 1 suppliers the opportunity to present, and discuss their phase 1 project to a wider audience and to encourage and facilitate the development of collaborative relationships to develop follow on research and future exploitation.


We would like you to:

  • confirm your attendance and additional colleagues, names and contact details required by 28th July. Please send contact details to:
  • please let me know if you wish to have a stand and/or present a poster/banner.


Registration confirmation to this Collaboration Event will be sent via Eventbrite on receipt of email acceptance. You will be sent a link when we register you onto Eventbrite giving you the opportunity to book a one-to-one meeting slot to discuss potential future research ideas with Dstl technical experts and military advisors.

I look forward to seeing you on the 11th September.

Kind Regards


Nicola Nicola

Felton Team Leader and Project Manager

Dstl CBR Division

Room 14B, Building 6B, Dstl Porton Down

Salisbury SP4 0JQ

Please note our phone numbers are changing.

My new number is:


Office: 01980 956261






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