On 14 March 2024, NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) announced the significant expansion of its transatlantic network of accelerator sites and test centres. DIANA will now comprise 23 accelerator sites and 182 test centres in 28 Allied countries. VITO is honoured to be appointed as DIANA test centre in 3 of its knowledge domains:

  • GEO Intelligence (space and AI);
  • Energy (energy and propulsion);
  • Health (biotechnology, human enhancement and AI).

The in-depth expertise & pioneering role of VITO will support innovators as they develop deep technologies to support NATO and help protect its one billion citizens.

VITO expertise

VITO has applied to join the DIANA test centres as its knowledge and experience matches with several of the following emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs) NATO is focussing on:

  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • autonomy
  • biotechnologies and human enhancement
  • space
  • novel materials and manufacturing
  • energy and propulsion (@VITO/EnergyVille)

Moreover, in 2023, on the initiative of Flemish minister Jo Brouns, responsible for Economy and Innovation, the Flemish government decided to contribute from Flanders to 2 NATO initiatives, the NATO Innovation Fund and DIANA.

As VITO can proudly announce its selection as test centre for DIANA, all 4 of Flanders’ strategic research organisations, imec, Flanders Make, VIB and VITO, are part of DIANA.

At VITO, we’re all geared up and ready to support NATO and the startups selected via NATO Investment Fund in securing the future for the Alliance's 1 billion citizens. “For VITO, sustainability and resilience go hand in hand. In the steady state, our focus is and always has been to find new technology innovations to accelerate the just sustainability transition. But in view of crises, we need to develop technology surviving with the least impact possible and returning as quickly as possible back to the steady state. Happy and proud that the NATO innovation ecosystem can now tap into our knowledge and experience and make use of the test infrastructures we have available", Steven Krekels, Valorisation Director Environmental Intelligence at VITO.

Introducing DIANA

DIANA was created by NATO to help develop dual-use technologies with both defensive and civilian  applications, that address challenges affecting security and defence. The new accelerator sites and test centres will augment DIANA’s capacity to support innovators from across the Alliance as they develop their technologies. DIANA-affiliated accelerators deliver world-class programming to companies in the program, while the network of test centres provides access to cutting-edge testing facilities. These are available to DIANA’s current cohort of companies, as well as those DIANA will support in future, giving them expert advice and access to test and try their technologies in specialised environments.

“Part of DIANA’s strength, is our unique transatlantic network of talent centres and innovation leaders working toward a common purpose. The breadth and diversity of partners in DIANA’s network will accelerate the development and deployment of ground-breaking solutions for defence, security and peace.” - Prof. Deeph Chana, Managing Director of DIANA

The expansion represents a significant milestone for DIANA. Last November, 44 companies were chosen from over 1,300 applicants to join DIANA’s accelerator programme. The cohort of innovators were selected to tackle specific challenges on energy resilience, undersea sensing and surveillance, and secure information sharing.


More info

For more information – including to see an interactive map of the expanded network - visit DIANA’s website: www.diana.nato.int

+32 14 33 68 11