The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is launching a new one billion euro (U.S. $1.04 billion) defense technologies investment fund that is likely to cover tech including artificial intelligence, NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg said on June 30 at a press conference in Madrid.


The investment fund is separate from the new Defense Innovation Accelerator unveiled earlier this week. NATO announced plans for the innovation accelerator on June 29 as part of a new “strategic concept” that names Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to NATO allies’ security and stability and wraps cybersecurity initiatives more tightly into the alliance’s strategy.


The NATO Innovation Fund “is unique,” Stoltenberg said on June 30. “It is the world’s first multi-sovereign venture capital fund ever.”


He said the fund will invest its money in “early-stage start-ups, and other deep-tech funds across 22 participating nations.” The fund is geared to operate over a 15-year period.


The goal of the effort, he said, will be “harnessing the best of new technology for transatlantic security,” and “maintaining our technological edge [that] has helped to keep our Alliance strong and our nations safe for more than seventy years.”


“Today, nations that do not share our values, like Russia and China, are challenging that lead in everything from Artificial Intelligence to space technologies,” Stoltenberg said. “It is essential that we do everything in our power to remain at the forefront of innovation and technology.”


 “This Fund, alongside DIANA, NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic, will help to do just that,” he said. “The NATO Innovation Fund will help bring to life those nascent technologies that have the power to transform our security in the decades to come.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.