NATO DIANA programme
On July 26 2023, DIGITAL EUROPE hosted a programme briefing headed by Moritz Zimmerman, Chief of Staff of the NATO Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) Transition Team. DIANA is the innovation accelerator for NATO, with a newly-opened HQ in London. The purpose was to brief potential collaborators on the newly-launched DIANA programme, starting with their first challenge programmes, closing on August 25 2023.
At least 8 NATO countries were represented by attendees on the call from potential SME/Start-up companies keen to participate in the first challenge programmes. Of these, some 150 British participants were present, with the majority of those being techUK members.
Moritz explained that DIANA will focus its accelerator on AI, autonomy, quantum, biotechnology and human enhancement, energy and propulsion, novel materials and advanced manufacturing, hypersonics and Space. The technologies adopted should be dual-use (civilian and defence) and “deep tech” in nature. DIANA focuses on Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) 4-7.
Questioned in depth by techUK members on who is eligible to apply for the challenges, Moritz stated that Start-ups and SMEs broadly will fit the profile, with larger, more established companies invited to act as programme Mentors.
The challenges currently open cover three areas:
- Sensing and Surveillance: sensing the Coastal Undersea Environment
- Energy Resilience: harnessing Microgrid Tech for Disaster and conflict recovery
- Secure Information Sharing: truly reliable and unquestionably secure tech
Companies wishing to apply should click on this link in the first instance.
techUK members used the Q&A session to seek information on a wide range of more in-depth questions around applying for challenges, but there was little time for answers given the relative brevity of the call. Questions covered eligibility, who will judge submissions, how to form a consortium, how will DIANA recruit mentor companies, location of accelerator labs and many, many others.
The Defence Programme works to help the UK’s Defence technology sector align itself with the MOD, specifically with the department’s Defence Digital organisation. The programme aims to help the sector remain at the forefront of technology exploitation. Our members play a vital role in supporting the MOD to procure digital technologies in a way that generates added value for end-users across the Defence ecosystem, from internal business functions to frontline operations.
Sign-up to get the latest updates and opportunities from our Defence programme.