Find A Better Way offers £1 million research fund in its quest to rid the world of landmines

A charity set up to find practical solutions to rid former war zones of landmines has announced a £1 million research challenge. 

Find A Better Way, founded by England football legend, Sir Bobby Charlton, is a unique charity dedicated to providing practical, humanitarian solutions to the global problem of landmines. 

The United Nations estimates that there are more than 110 million landmines in 70 countries and that it would currently take more than 1,100 years and cost more than 33 billion US Dollars to clear them. 

Find A Better Way recently revealed that research carried out by engineers on its behalf had led to the development of a prototype probe with the potential to cut down the time taken on finding landmines by half. 

Now they are challenging research bodies to come up with research projects that could make a practical solution to landmine deactivation a reality for United Nations and war torn countries. 

A launch event will be held at Lloyds of London at 11am on Tuesday, 8 January when Sir Bobby Charlton will be in attendance. 

Sir Bobby set up Find A Better Way after witnessing the untold misery caused by unexploded landmines during a visit to Cambodia.  

He said “Find A Better Way’s key goal is to develop new technology to accelerate the detection and removal of landmines globally.  

“We have won the support of the global risk management industry and this means we are now able to fund large scale research projects.” 

All UK higher education institutions, together with some research councils and independent research organisations, are eligible to put forward projects. 

Funding bids will be assessed by a panel of experts set up by Find A Better Way and the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council). 

A deadline of 25 March, 2013, has been set for the submission of outlines. 

Applicants who are successful at outline stage will then be asked to draw up full proposals by September, 2013. 

Find A Better Way, based in Knutsford, Cheshire, has been funding research into a landmine probe by engineering technologists at Furness College, Barrow. 

The research team recently unveiled a prototype which has the potential to identify landmines underground via their acoustic signal. 

John Edees, Chairman of the Find A Better Way Board, said: “We are delighted with the progress made at Barrow. Until now clearance has been hindered by the lack of technology. 

“A clearance expert currently probes the ground with a bayonet and then a lot of time and effort is taken digging up objects which may or may not be landmines. The acoustic probe could cut that detection time down by half. 

“Now we are looking to challenge the UK scientific community to come up with further unique, innovative solutions. 

“We were founded to Find A Better Way to clear landmines and we will make research funding available to projects which can help us reach our goals.” 

ENDS 

For further information contact Nigel Howle on 07762043436, email nigelhowle@o2.co.uk 

Notes to Editors:

Find A Better Way is working with research scientists to develop technology to accelerate the detection and safe removal of the estimated 110 million landmines in place around the world. 

Find A Better Way is based at Booths Hall, Knutsford, Cheshire. 

For more information on Find A Better Way, please visit their website at www.findabetterway.org.uk