NATO Deputy Secretary General opens DIANA’s European Regional Office, welcomes Managing Director
On Thursday (30 March 2023), NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană and UK Minister for Defence Procurement Alex Chalk opened the first regional office of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) at the Imperial College London Innovation Hub.
Located in the White City Innovation District, the European office of DIANA, an independent NATO body, is hosted in the United Kingdom in partnership with Estonia and will be supported by a regional hub in Tallinn. A North America regional office will also open in Canada and complement the DIANA structure.
“I am delighted that Imperial College’s White City Campus will host the first of DIANA’s regional offices, said Mr Geoană at the opening ceremony. “Imperial’s Innovation Hub already co-locates major defence contractors, innovators and researchers alongside UK and US government defence innovation accelerators, making it the ideal place to start this exciting new initiative,” he added.
During the event, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges and DIANA’s interim Managing Director David Van Weel symbolically passed the baton on to the incoming Managing Director, Professor Deeph Chana (hyperlink to the biographical notes and photo below).
DIANA was launched at the NATO Brussels Summit in 2021. It aims to harness dual-use commercial technologies for defence and security purposes. It will focus on the nine emerging and disruptive technologies of priority to NATO: artificial intelligence, data, autonomy, quantum-enabled technologies, biotechnology, hypersonics, space, novel materials and manufacturing, and energy and propulsion. The first DIANA pilot activities will start in the autumn of 2023.
DIANA’s network brings together over 100 deep-tech test centres and start-up accelerators from across the Alliance. It will be complemented by NATO’s Innovation Fund, the world’s first multi-sovereign venture capital fund, which will invest 1 billion euros over 15 years in start-ups developing or adapting technologies to defence and security.