DIANA, the Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic, has received proposals from over 1,200 applicants as part of its pilot challenge call to innovators and entrepreneurs. DIANA’s first challenges – which closed at the end of last week (25 August 2023) – focus on three priorities: energy resilience; sensing and surveillance; and secure information sharing.
Companies – many of them small start-ups – are competing for hundreds of thousands of euros in grant funds. Applicants will be evaluated by expert panels drawn from across NATO and industry, and DIANA expects to be able to issue the first grants to innovators towards the end of the year. The DIANA team will then work directly with the successful applicants – helping them to test their ideas, secure further funding and get commercial advice to help their businesses grow.
“My team and I are delighted with the overwhelming response and positivity from the Alliance’s innovators to DIANA’s first three challenges,” said DIANA’s Managing Director, Professor Deeph Chana. “It is testament to the hard work of the DIANA team – of which I’m extremely proud – and the significant talent pool that we know exists within the Alliance.”
Once DIANA is fully operational in 2025, it will run multiple challenges per year on various topics, with the capacity to work with hundreds of innovators each year across its network of accelerator sites and test centers. “The entire team and myself are looking forward to engaging with the successful candidates,” continued Professor Chana. ”We hope to expand on the success of our pilot program in future years.”