Partnering opportunity

Mobile forensic device for instant detection of drugs and explosives offered under commercial agreement


The UK SME specialises in developing and providing trusted solutions for substance detection. They have developed a mobile mass spectrometer based detection system available for use by forensic and security services, border forces and cargo handlers to ensure the integrity of aircraft, ships, cargo transportation hubs, stadia, public places etc. They offer technology on a commercial agreement with technical assistance.

Partner sought

The UK SME is looking for partners in the following sectors: • Forensic services providers to the police, security and border forces. • Cargo handlers who need to ensure the integrity of aircraft, ships and cargo transportation hubs • Police • Security agencies • VIP security companies • Stadia and public places security operators Partners should be willing to enter discussions with a view to non-exclusive acquisition of a technology paired with the provision of a number of services provided by the UK SME in support of, and essential to, this transfer of technology.


The UK SME has been providing forensic analytical services for over 20 years and is at the forefront of innovative research and development through continued innovative use of mass spectrometry in forensics and security applications. They are an accredited provider of forensic chemistry with an international reputation based on work performed on behalf of a number of companies and British, Canadian and US government agencies. Successive projects have resulted in the development of innovative equipment for a number of applications. They have developed a mobile mass spectrometer based detection system capable of detecting extremely small quantities (traces) of explosives or other substances of interest (less than a billionth of a gram) and is able to identify when items in question have come into contact with illicit substances. The forensically acceptable results provide absolute accuracy. The rates of false positive and false negative are near to zero, especially in comparison to technologies such as ion mobility spectrometry and other screening devices. The system is flexible and capable of swiftly producing forensically acceptable results from many types of items e.g. • baggage • banknotes or paperwork • cargo / freight • clothing • vehicles • people - hands, etc. • air samples (vapour) Each sample is analysed and the result interpreted in less than four seconds. The results are displayed using a simple red/green indicator, removing the need for the operator to interpret the significance of the results. A variety of interference tests have been performed on the system by independent government bodies. Unlike the commonly deployed ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) systems which are available, the mobile detector enjoys near zero false positive and false negative rates. Tests using substances known to cause issues with IMS based equipment, such as some perfumes, hand creams etc. have no influence on the detection capabilities of this system. The system is future proof and can be programmed to target threats as and when they arise. Incredibly easy to operate, it comes with expert and non-expert interfaces so any user can immediately get to work. The non-expert user interface provides step-by-step instructions. Following are some of the substances that can be detected: Drugs: • opiates – diacetylmorphine (heroin) in hydrochloride and base forms, morphine • cannabis – resin & herbal • cocaine – hydrochloride and base forms • benzodiazepines – diazepam, temazepam • barbiturates – barbital, phenobarbital • amphetamine type substances – MDMA, MDA, • MDEA, methamphetamine, methadone • ketamine • BZP - Benzylpiperazine • precursor materials Explosives: • EGDN – ethyleneglycoldinitrate • NG – nitroglycerine • DNT – dinitrotoluene • TNT – trinintrotoluene • PETN – pentaerythritoltetranitrate • RDX – cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine • HMX – cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine • DMNB – 2,3-dimethyl 2,3-dinitrobutane • pPeroxide explosives – HMTD & TATP The UK SME offers the technology on a commercial agreement with technical assistance basis to partners in security and forensic sectors.

Advantages and innovations

- Ahead of its time, it's one of the first mobile mass spectrometer systems available for use by law enforcement officers, airport personnel and the military. - The detection system allows to get on-the-spot trace readings in seconds, with forensically acceptable results that offer absolute certainty. - Easy to transport and operate, the mobile detection device is rapidly being adopted by major law enforcement and security agencies around the world, proving itself totally reliable. The system is currently used by UK law enforcement agencies, Canadian Border Services Agency and US Government. It has been approved for use by CAST (UK Home Office) and UK Defence Science & Technology Lab (DSTL). - The system is versatile and has many applications: * Transport buildings & events - currently being used at some of the world’s biggest sporting and entertainment events to ensure the venue, surrounding areas and nearby vehicles are free from explosives. It’s also perfect for political summits, business conferences, airports, railway terminals, shopping malls – anywhere there may be a terrorist threat. Swabs are taken from a variety of surfaces. A large number of explosives compounds can be screened simultaneously in seconds. * Cargo & freight - analyses high volume air samples extracted from air freight and sea freight containers – without the need to open, unpack or disturb the contents. Simultaneous detection of explosives and taggants means that an entire container or pallet of air freight can be quickly screened for multiple explosives and related compounds. * People & personal effects - capable of analysing passes, personal effects and other items from people moving through a checkpoint scenario. Traces of multiple explosives and taggants can be identified in under 4 seconds, enabling a throughput of over 1200 people /hour. The speed and accuracy mean it is far more cost effective than alternative systems, enabling 100% of people to be screened.

Development stage

Already on the market

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patents granted

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