NATO Innovations and Research
In support of NATO 2030, Alliance leaders agree on new initiatives to support innovation and new technologies.
In order to protect NATO's superiority in new and transformative technologies, two new initiatives will be launched within the framework of the NATO 2030 agenda – the NATO Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (NATO DIANA) and the NATO Innovation Fund.
The DIANA accelerator programme is designed to equip businesses with the skills and knowledge to navigate the world of deep tech, dual-use innovation. It provides an immersive curriculum and ‘boot-camp’ involving the NATO innovation network and strategic business partners from the commercial and defence markets. Special attention will be paid to innovators who will offer solutions in one of the sectors of new and transformative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data processing, quantum technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, new materials, and space.
Through a combination of lectures, workshops, and mentorship, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the dual-use landscape and learn how to successfully navigate both commercial and defence markets. Starting from 2023, innovators will be given the opportunity to use acceleration services based on one of the current security challenges, as well as to test the proposed solutions in one of the test centres in NATO member states. At the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels on April 7, 2022, the NATO DIANA Charter was approved, which stipulates that, starting from 2023, two regional offices will be established – in Canada and Great Britain, at least nine accelerators, one will be located in the Baltics – Estonia, and 63 test centres, from those one will be located in Latvia.
The test centre in Latvia will deal with testing 5G, artificial intelligence, and big data processing technologies. It will be located in the already established military 5G test environment at the Ādaži military base.
On June 19, 2023, the DIANA became operational and launched its first call for proposals to solve critical defence and security challenges.
NATO Innovation Fund
The NATO Innovation Fund is a financial partnership between participating NATO Allies as Limited Partners and an investment management arm purpose-built specifically for this Fund. Participating Allies have previously agreed to domicile the partnership in Luxembourg. The Fund is the world’s first multi-sovereign venture capital fund and it will invest 1 billion euros in early-stage start-ups developing emerging and disruptive technologies and other venture capital funds developing dual-use emerging and disruptive technologies (deep tech) of priority to NATO. These include: artificial intelligence; big-data processing; quantum-enabled technologies; autonomy; biotechnology and human enhancement; hypersonic technologies novel materials; energy; propulsion, and space.
The Fund will complement NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic – or DIANA – which will support the development and adaptation of dual-use emerging technologies to critical security and defence challenges.
At the 2022 Madrid Summit, 22 Allies launched the NATO Innovation Fund. Since then, significant steps have been made to fully establish the Fund by NATO’s Vilnius Summit in July 2023.