skip to Main Content

First NATO defence innovation HQ opens in London

The first Regional Office of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) has opened in London; the UK is partnered with Estonia in this venture and a further hub in Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, is due to open later this year. A North American regional office will also open in Canada to complement the DIANA structure.

Located at the Imperial College London Innovation Hub (I-HUB) in the White City Innovation District, the regional office was opened by the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, Alex Chalk KC and the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Mircea Geoană on a visit to the site. And the Accelerator’s new Managing Director, Professor Deeph Chana, took up his post on 1 April.

The DIANA program, which was launched at the NATO Brussels Summit in 2021, will support all nine of the key emerging and disruptive technologies that NATO has identified as priorities: artificial intelligence, data, autonomy, quantum-enabled technologies, biotechnology, hypersonics, space, novel materials and manufacturing, and energy and propulsion.

It brings together more than 100 deep-tech test centres and start-up accelerators from across the Alliance. It will be complemented by NATO’s Innovation Fund which will invest €1 billion over 15 years in start-ups developing or adapting technologies to defence and security.

“DIANA is a game-changer for driving NATO’s innovation agenda forward,” said Mr Geoană. “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.”

The DIANA program aims to support the foundation, growth and success of start-ups working to drive innovation and forward-thinking in Defence. Bringing together industry, government and academia from across the Alliance, DIANA will help enable NATO Allies to develop and integrate advanced dual-use technologies to address critical defence and security challenges, at pace.

“Technology has never been as prominent on the NATO agenda as it is today,” said David van Weel, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges and Interim DIANA Managing Director. “We want to bring NATO closer to the best and brightest of our innovators. Leading the establishment of DIANA has been a great pleasure over the past months. Now it is an honour to hand over to Professor Chana, who will be taking DIANA to new heights and launch DIANA’s first pilot activities in June.

Ranked in the world’s top ten innovative universities, Imperial College London will bring together academia, industry and government to host the HQ in a space shared with the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), Major Defence Contractors and the US Department of Defense’s Tri-Service Office.

Back To Top