The Department for Transport has awarded a total of £1.8 million in eight projects designed to ensure shorter queues and better screening at airports.
Some of the funding is going to a small team based in Derbyshire developing sophisticated imaging to scan shoes for explosive materials.
Security Screening Technologies is working on a step-on shoe scanner which can rapidly form high-contrast images of footwear, meaning that ultimately passengers would no longer need to remove their shoes before going through screening gates.
Another company, based in Wales, has received funding for its work on an alternative walk-through people screening system.
Sequestim’s advanced technology could reduce the need for manual checks and mean passengers do not have to remove outer clothing.
It would also reduce the risk of false alarms, which lead to delays.
Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: “This latest £1.8 million of funding invests in innovative projects that will ensure we are continuing to capitalise on pioneering research. The aim is to have a safer and smoother travel experience for air passengers.
“The safety of people travelling on all modes of transport is our top priority and the Future Aviation Security Solutions programme is just one example of the huge importance we place on the security of passengers.
“We have a proud history of the early adoption and use of cutting edge technology and this programme is helping to ensure we continue to lead the way in airport security.”
The funding is part of a five-year Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS)programme, a multi-million pound initiative designed to strengthen aviation security.
Each project team has been given 12 months to develop technology for trials at airports.