New NATO Strategic Direction for New Innovation Accelerator
On 12 December 2022, the Board of Directors of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) agreed that energy resilience, secure information sharing and sensing and surveillance will be the priority areas of focus for DIANA’s work on Emerging and Disrupting Technologies (EDTs) in 2023.
The three areas make up the backbone of DIANA’s Strategic Direction for 2023. The Strategic Direction will drive the identification of DIANA’s first defense and security challenges, for which dual-use technological solutions must be found. “This strategic direction gives the DIANA Executive clear guidance on the development of pilot programs that we will launch in Spring 2023. These programs will benefit both civilian and military communities” commented David Van Weel, DIANA’s interim managing director.
Energy Resilience will seek to ensure that energy is at all times available and sufficient to sustain NATO’s missions and operations. Technological solutions in this area should help Allies better prepare for, minimize, adapt to, and recover from anticipated and unanticipated energy disruptions. Secure Information Sharing addresses the need for protected, reliable collection-through-dissemination of relevant data and ensures that the resultant data-derived information can be trusted. Sensing and Surveillance broadly applies to the detection and systematic observation of physical and digital domains, in order to enable, for example, situational awareness and forecasting.
At the same meeting, the Board of Directors elected its first Chair, Barbara K. McQuiston, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Science and Technology, US Department of Defense, as well as a Vice Chair, Imre Porkoláb, Ministerial Commissioner for Defence Innovation, Hungarian Ministry of Defence.
NATO Allies agreed to establish DIANA at the 2021 Summit in Brussels. DIANA will provide deep tech, dual-use innovators in NATO countries with funding and a fast track to adapt their technological solutions to defense and security needs. This will also help ensure that the Alliance retains its technological edge in priority areas, including big-data processing, artificial intelligence (AI), autonomy, quantum, biotechnologies and human enhancement, energy and propulsion, novel materials and advanced manufacturing, hypersonics and space. DIANA’s Charter was approved at NATO’s 2022 Summit in Madrid. The Board of Directors, which held its first meeting in October 2022, is responsible for the organizational governance of DIANA and is comprised of one member from each NATO nation.