Hungary is in the running to host regional offices, accelerator sites and test centres using civilian innovation for security in the framework of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) scheme, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM) said on Thursday.
Modelled after the US Pentagon’s future warfare and technology agency DARPA, the DIANA programme aims to create an innovation ecosystem that would also involve university, research institute and governmental partners, the ministry said in a statement.
NATO plans to set up a regional office in both North America and Europe tasked with devising the DIANA’s work plan in each region,
it said. The innovation accelerator sites would serve as incubators for selected start-ups, while the test centres would provide testing opportunities to businesses that could not get them elsewhere, the ministry said.
The ITM said David van Weel, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, had chosen Hungary as one of the first of the volunteer countries to visit. During his two-day visit, he is scheduled to inspect the Budapest headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology as well as the
ZalaZone test track for self-driving vehicles in Zalaegerszeg, in western Hungary.
The ministry cited van Weel as saying that Hungary’s innovative economic development and swift defence industry reforms weighed in its favour when it came to deciding on the host country for the DIANA sites.