Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA)

What is DIANA?

DIANA (Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic) is an organisation established by NATO to find and accelerate dual-use innovation capacity across the Alliance.

DIANA leverages its acceleration programme and test centre network to bring together start-ups with operational end users, scientists and systems integrators to advance compelling deep technology with dual-use solutions.

Challenge programme

The DIANA challenge programme consist of a competitive call for proposals targeting strategic focus areas. Companies whose proposals are selected receive non-dilutive grants of EUR 100,000 and join ‘Phase One’ of the DIANA accelerator programme known as ‘Boot-camp’. During the six months, companies are working on evolving or adapting their technology solutions, in accordance with their proposal.

At the end of Phase One, some of the companies will be invited to participate in Phase Two of the accelerator programme called ‘Scale’ and offered an additional grant of up to EUR 300,000. During this second period of six months, companies will focus on further demonstrating their technological solution, developing transition strategies, and working with investors and end users to identify pathways to adoption.

Accelerator programme

DIANA is supported by a unique transatlantic network of more than 20 accelerator sites and more than 180 test centres from across the NATO Alliance. They can be found on an interactive map on the DIANA website.

The DIANA accelerator programme is designed to equip businesses with the skills and knowledge to navigate the world of deep tech, dual-use innovation. It provides an immersive curriculum and ‘boot-camp’ involving the NATO innovation network and strategic business partners from the commercial and defence markets.

The programme includes a six-month, hands-on boot-camp consisting of ten modules custom-designed for early-stage start-ups to build companies into viable dual-use ventures. Through a combination of lectures, workshops and mentorship, participants gain a comprehensive understanding of the dual-use landscape and learn how to successfully navigate both commercial and defence markets.

Who can apply to the challenge programme?

Any incorporated company headquartered in a NATO member nation is eligible to participate in a DIANA challenge.
Early-stage start-ups or small and medium-sized enterprises with limited experience in defence and security are likely to benefit most from the DIANA accelerator programme.

Fore more information, please consult the following link.

How to apply to the challenge programme?

Each challenge programme will feature a competitive selection process organised by the DIANA executive of the bids submitted by innovators from across the Alliance. Multiple calls per year are possible. Information about the challenge programmes will be spread via this website and classical communication means. Interested companies can already register on the DIANA website and will receive prompt information about new calls.

Selection process for the challenge programme

At the close of the call-for-proposal period, a two-stage evaluation will be conducted, based on technical merit (feasibility, state of development and novelty), relevance to defence and security applications, commercial potential and business viability, disruptive impact, and soundness of proposed use of funding. Selections are made approximately 1-2 months after the close of the call-for-proposal period.

Terms & conditions for the challenge programme

DIANA will not take nor assert any rights on intellectual property developed under and with support of the grant funding.

Companies whose challenge proposals are selected are offered funding in the form of grants and required to sign an Innovator Support Agreement (ISA) with DIANA as a condition for receipt of those awards. The ISA contains terms and conditions for provision of grant funding to admitted companies.

Grant funding is provided for implementation and furtherance of objectives proposed by companies within their DIANA challenge programme proposals. Such objectives may include but are not limited to salaries, equipment or materials, use of test centre resources greater than those supported by DIANA funds, legal consultation and compliance, and implementation of tasks or guidance provided by DIANA, if any. Misuse of grant funding may result in termination of ISA and requirement to repay the grant funding in whole or in part.

External links