President of Estonia: The NATO innovation accelerator provides an opportunity to mediate Estonia’s experience in innovation and startups

President Karis_NATO London
Photo: Office of the President of the Republic

The first five accelerators in the NATO DIANA network of innovation accelerators will start work during their first pilot year, and one of them will operate in Estonia.

The startup accelerator being developed in Estonia will led by the Tehnopol Science and Business Park working together with the Tartu Science Park and Startup Wiseguys. The cities of Tallinn and Tartu both gave support for putting it together. The companies attending the accelerator will get help in testing their products from the University of Tartu, TalTech, the National Defence College, the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, the Estonian Aviation Academy, Foundation CR14 and Milrem Robotics.

President Alar Karis commented when visiting the European headquarters of NATO’s innovation accelerator DIANA in London that the DIANA programme created to support startup companies working with deep technology for national defence and security allows innovation to be involved much better than before in developing defensive capacity.

Estonia was one of the initiators of the DIANA programme and the President said it is an excellent illustration of Estonia’s good reputation as the creator of an ecosystem for innovation in startup companies and as a developer of technology. “Estonia’s contribution is based on cooperation across the whole country between state institutions, private companies and higher education institutions, and shows that the whole country can work together for the joint goal of national defence”, said President Karis.

A part of the international headquarters of DIANA will come to Estonia and will start to coordinate the development of deep technology for defence and security. It is planned that the main headquarters will be in London and the North American branch in Halifax. “We are very pleased that Estonia and the United Kingdom have worked together from the beginning to coordinate their contributions to the DIANA programme”, said President Karis.

He observed that Estonia has shown itself to be bigger than its small size may have led people to believe. “The NATO innovation accelerator will help to share the experience and knowledge of Estonia and help find partners to work with in the single defence market of the alliance, which is mostly closed”, he added.

NATO created the DIANA programme to bring new technologies and breakthroughs into the development of defence capacity. Accelerators for startups from across the alliance, a network of test centres, and a database of trustworthy capital will also be part of the programme.

The NATO DIANA accelerator is designed to support deep-technology startups that can contribute to national security and defence, bringing together talented innovators and the end-users of new technologies. More information can be found here.


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