Home » 🇫🇮 NATO DIANA announces 2024 challenges open to Oulu companies

🇫🇮 NATO DIANA announces 2024 challenges open to Oulu companies

July 2, 2024

The NATO DIANA Accelerator has just announced its themes for 2024 and is taking proposals from companies in member countries, including Finland. If you are an Oulu-based tech business, particularly if you are an early-stage startup or SME, and have a pioneering and disruptive dual-use solution, this is an amazing opportunity to receive significant funding and to take part in a program that can help develop and scale up your innovation.

In this article we explain all the essential info that you and your company need to know.

What is the NATO DIANA Accelerator?

This initiative strives to unite the most skilled and inventive individuals from across the Alliance, guaranteeing the safety of its members. Emerging and disruptive technologies can help the Alliance shape a peaceful future, with NATO ensuring that these are developed for responsible use in line with shared democratic values. The DIANA program is engaging participants in several pilot challenges this year to establish dual-use solutions to priority defence and security problems.

What do companies gain from participating?

If selected to participate in the DIANA Accelerator, companies will receive funding of €100,000 and will take part in the Bootcamp, which is Phase 1. Afterwards, another selection process takes place, with selected innovators taking part in Phase 2, which enables them to receive an additional €300,000 to scale up their solution and working with investors and end users to identify pathways to adoption.

What are the themes for this year’s proposals?

The NATO DIANA Accelerator has chosen five central themes for this year’s challenge. They are:

  • Energy & Power – Enhancing energy and power resilience within, but not limited to, energy storage, smart grid technologies, nuclear micro-reactors, small modular reactors or novel reactors, cyber-physical security, data analytics and AI, vehicle energy infrastructure, energy efficiency, microgrid tech, energy recovery, materials science, systems engineering or blockchain.
  • Data & Information Security – Technology that facilitates data production, utilisation, distribution, and protection in multi-domain environments, be it quantum and post-quantum cryptography, data assurance, edge computing, blockchain technology, biometrics, zero-knowledge proofs, cyber deception technology, deepfake detection technology, and beyond.
  • Sensing & Surveillance – Solutions that enable forecasting, indications and warning, situational awareness, post-action assessment, and understanding of behaviour drivers such as pattern-of-life analysis and sentiment including, but not limited to, advanced sensing technology, quantum materials, novel materials for sensing, drone surveillance, augmented reality, next-gen wireless technology, secure sensor data transmission and storage systems, and intelligent resource allocation and planning systems.
  • Human Health & Performance – Solutions that improve the understanding and enhancement of human health and wellbeing, both physical and psychological through, but not limited to, next-gen wearable tech, personalised healthcare, bio-inspired tech, advanced exoskeletons and prosthetics, AI and autonomy-enabled technologies, CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) detection and defence, materials science, and engineering.
  • Critial Infrastructure & Logistics – Technology focused on the secure and trustworthy operation of critical national and international infrastructure, and global supply chains across various domains, including, but not limited to, IoT technology, component integration, advanced decentralised data-driven logistics, autonomy, underwater cable protection, climate change monitoring, data analysis and interpretation, material and manufacturing development, in-situ repair tech, alternate power supplöies, effective communication, or modelling capabilities.

What is the application criteria?

  • Companies must be registered in a NATO member country and should provide identifying information such as legal name, place of registration and DUNS number.
  • Proposals from all companies meeting basis eligibility requirements are accepted, although early-stage startups or SMEs with limited experience in defence and security stand to benefit the most from participation.
  • Universities and non-profit groups cannot apply.
  • All proposed technological solutions must have maturity levels of TRL 4 and above, although lower TRL solutions with potential disruptive impact will be considered.
  • Companies are required to agree to terms and conditions governing their participation in the competitive selection process, to ensure it’s conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

How do I find out more info and apply?

Visit the official NATO DIANA 2024 Challenges page for further details and to make your application.

When is the deadline for submissions?

The call for proposals will end on Friday 9th August 2024.

Originally published on 2 July by ICT Oulu.

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