National Security Technology and Innovation Exchange (NSTIx) are looking for partners to collaborate on the following Challenge: Chemical / Biological Breadcrumb Trail.

Challenge Summary: 

UK Law Enforcement is sometimes required to track the movement of suspected criminals during the course of an investigation where this is proportionate, necessary and legally permissible.  We are interested in exploring the ability to track the physical movements of criminal suspects through the means of tracking unique biological markers (for example, bacterial flora), or by using benign chemical markers that are imperceptible to the human eye. 

This Challenge is structured using three work-streams, run in parallel, over a period of up to 12 weeks:

  1. User-centric Journey mapping and associated pain points.
  2. Horizon Scanning and identification of new or existing solutions. 
  3. A report comprising a technical deep dive into existing academic and industrial research & development.

There are three key themes to consider:

1. The development or identification of suitable chemical / biological markers that are imperceptible to a human without specialist equipment. An example approach would be to use a paint that is invisible to the human eye and imperceptible to touch (invisible ink may be an analogy) and is benign with no health and safety concerns. This could be painted onto someone’s hand or footwear; they then go about their daily life without the invisible paint impacting on their day. The paint on that person will then be deposited onto anything that they have touched.

2. Consider how the chemical / biological marker is tracked and identified after it has been deposited.

3. As a suspect will be unaware that they are exposed to a chemical / biological marker it is paramount that the tracking media must pose no health and safety concerns to that individual. 

For details of the Challenge and information on how to respond, please contact by 29th July.