The United Nations estimates that there are more than 110 million landmines scattered in 70 countries and, using the current technologies, it would take over 1100 years and more than $33 billion to clear them.
On January 8th 2013 EPSRC and Find A Better Way (FABW), the charity founded by Sir Bobby Charlton to improve the lives of individuals and communities affected by landmines, announced a partnership to fund one or more research projects focused on new ways of detecting landmines.
During an event, held at Lloyds of London, the organisations jointly launched a Call for Outlines for those wishing to submit Full Proposals for projects, lasting between one to four years, to address research challenges in areas of landmine detection.
FABW is making around £1 million available for the research and it is expected that many academic disciplines will have research ideas to contribute. FABW aims to develop technology to accelerate the detection and safe removal of landmines globally.
Professor David Delpy, EPSRC Chief Executive said: “I am confident that academics from across the engineering and physical sciences will embrace this call. It is an opportunity to improve the removal of landmines which pose such an insidious threat, killing and injuring innocent civilians in many parts of the world. ”
The Call seeks Outlines that will lead to high quality research proposals which draw upon expertise across all disciplines and which will lead to the development - within a seven-year timescale - of new technologies able to make the process of detecting and locating landmines for humanitarian clearance faster, cheaper and safer.
EPSRC's contribution to this call is to offer advice and contacts using its understanding of relevant parts of the UK's research portfolio, and to ensure the research supported is of the highest quality via the peer review process, described below. As all funding for the successful projects comes from FABW, grants will be awarded under FABW terms and conditions rather than EPSRC's.
Reference: PN 03/13