HomeFinlandNATO Accelerator To Establish Two Test Centres in Finland

NATO Accelerator To Establish Two Test Centres in Finland

NATO’s DIANA (Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic) programme is expanding its network with new sites. 

Finland is now part of the network since the Board of the DIANA initiative approved a proposal to establish an accelerator and two test centres in Finland. Their mission is to help companies develop technology, innovation and business for the civil and defence sectors.

The preparatory work, which started in spring 2023, was led by the Ministry of Defence and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and required input from several operators, has reached its desired conclusion. VTT is setting up a DIANA accelerator in Otaniemi, Espoo, in collaboration with Aalto University and the University of Helsinki. The test centres will be established at the University of Oulu and VTT’s Otaniemi site.

The technology themes of the accelerator and test centres are related to next-generation communication systems, 6G technology, cybersecurity, quantum and space technologies.

VTT is setting up a DIANA accelerator in Otaniemi, Espoo, in collaboration with Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, which will focus on the communication systems and quantum technologies of the future. This will provide a special training programme that will help companies develop deep technologies and innovations for commercial and defence purposes. It will also provide companies with extensive and varied training on how to develop business opportunities in the defence sector.

The accelerator’s services will be specifically targeted at start-ups and SMEs with limited experience in the defence and security sector.

DIANA selects companies for accelerators through its application process. This procedure is called the DIANA challenge programme. The first round of applications for the Finnish DIANA accelerator will be launched in 2024, and it will be open to start-ups developing dual-use solutions in NATO countries.

The technology test centres will be established at VTT’s Otaniemi site and the University of Oulu. VTT’s Otaniemi Test Centre will focus on secure connectivity, space and quantum technologies. The test centre at the University of Oulu will offer companies the opportunity to test 6G network technologies.

DIANA test centres are places where companies can strengthen their technological expertise and competitiveness. The research infrastructure and experts provided by the test centres will allow companies to evaluate their own concepts and technologies and get support to develop them. In practice, the test centres will consist of a comprehensive set of existing research facilities and equipment, as well as top-level expertise in the sector. The centres will also support the development of start-ups participating in the accelerator programme.

It will be possible for all companies in NATO countries to purchase the test centre services, regardless of whether or not they belong to a DIANA accelerator.

NATO’s DIANA initiative aims to identify future challenges in the defence and security sector and work with companies to find technological solutions.

The initiative focuses on new technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomy and quantum technologies, which are dual-use in nature, i.e. they can be commercially exploited in both the civil and defence sectors.

VCWire

21/03/2024