NATO DIANA Regional Hub opened in Tallinn, Kadri Tammai appointed as Regional Director

NATO DIANA Regional Hub opened in Tallinn, Kadri Tammai appointed as Regional Director

Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur and NATO DIANA Managing Director Prof. Deeph Chana signed a memorandum of understanding last week, officially opening the DIANA Regional Hub in Tallinn. Kadri Tammai will take up the role of the Regional Director of the Hub.

“I am pleased to see that NATO DIANA’s pilot year has been successful – a year ago in June, the first challenge call was launched. Out of 1300 applicants, 44 successful companies were selected to DIANA’s Accelerator Programme and nine of them had the opportunity to further develop their ideas in an accelerator in Estonia. Now they are finishing the first phase of the programme, and based on the acquired knowledge and experience can move forward at full capacity,” said Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur. “Currently, we are discussing daily how to get Europe’s defence industry running faster and more efficiently – the dual-use solutions developed here, for both civilian and military use, will provide fertile ground for the advancement of defence industry, and we look forward to the developments that will emerge from this building in the future.”

“Given Estonia’s extraordinary track record of innovation, it is a perfect home for DIANA’s Regional Hub,” said Professor Deeph Chana, Managing Director of DIANA. “The Hub will play a key role in operations across DIANA, as we work to strengthen and accelerate emerging technologies capacity across 32 innovation ecosystems.” 

Kadri Tammai, who has previously led the Tehnopol Startup Incubator and the NATO DIANA Innovation Accelerator, which is part of the DIANA accelerator network, will start working as the NATO DIANA Regional Director. “Launching the NATO DIANA Accelerator in Estonia has been an exciting journey for me personally over the past 3.5 years and holds significant meaning for our ecosystem, bringing mentors, instructors, and startup entrepreneurs here from various NATO member countries. Now, I am taking the next step and contributing to the implementation of the NATO DIANA Accelerator program across 32 member countries,” said Tammai.

The companies that began DIANA’s first accelerator bootcamp in January, developed their technologies and tackled specific challenges on energy resilience, undersea sensing and surveillance, and secure information sharing. Companies that made it into the accelerator programme, received a grant of 100,000 euros, and those who will be selected for a second 6-month phase, will receive up to an additional 300,000 euros. 

DIANA’s next set of challenges will be launched in July along with the next topics, which will include key technology priorities identified by Allies such as energy, information, sensing, health, infrastructure, logistics and space. Applicants will have approximately five weeks to submit their applications, and will be evaluated against a range of different criteria including technical and commercial viability. Companies registered in any NATO member country are eligible to apply.

The accelerator in Estonia is led by the Tehnopol Startup Incubator together with the Sparkup Tartu Science Park and the business accelerator Startup Wise Guys. The funding to start the accelerator in Estonia comes from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the city of Tallinn. Estonian contributors to building the pan-Alliance network of testing centres are TalTech, the University of Tartu, Foundation CR14, the National Defence College, the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Estonian Aviation Academy and Estonian National Metrology Institute.

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