View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Emerging Technology
June 18, 2024updated 20 Jun 2024 2:20pm

NATO Innovation Fund announces first round of deep tech investments

NATO’s €1bln fund targets AI, robotics, and novel materials in effort to boost membership defence, security, and resilience capabilities.

By Tech Monitor Staff

The NATO Innovation Fund (NIF) has announced a round of investments into deep tech startups and capital fund managers. This marks a significant milestone for the €1 billion fund in its stated ambition to promote technological sovereignty across the alliance.

NATO headquarters
The €1bln NATO Innovation Fund is backed by 24 NATO members. (Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock)

Its first equity investments since the inception of the world’s only multi-sovereign venture capital fund in 2022, of significant focus are companies involved in novel materials, manufacturing, AI, and robotics.

This initial round of funding also aims to enhance deep tech hubs, particularly in regions with high demand for early-stage startup capital. Fostering the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, the fund promises its portfolio companies access to defence, wider government, and commercial markets across its allied members.

David van Weel, NATO’s assistant secretary general for innovation, hybrid, and cyber, stated: “Enabling capital and support for strategic technologies is key to securing a safe and prosperous future for the alliance’s 1 billion citizens. Today, we are proud to share that we have invested in innovative solutions that can help address some of our greatest challenges and boost growth, strengthening the defence, security, and resilience of our nations for generations to come.”

NATO Innovation Fund’s portfolio of deep tech startups

The Fund’s investments include Germany’s ARX Robotics, a manufacturer of scalable robotic systems designed for defence, commercial, and humanitarian applications. Another startup receiving investment is Fractile, a London-based chip manufacturer aiming to accelerate the speed and capabilities of large language models.

British manufacturer iCOMAT makes advanced composites, which promise to deliver lighter, stronger, and more sustainable structures for aerospace and automotive vehicles, is also receiving funding. So too is Wales-based Space Forge, which utilises the space environment to manufacture advanced semiconductor materials in orbit for use across the telecommunications, aerospace, and quantum sectors.

Dr. Klaus Hommels, chair of the NATO Innovation Fund, expressed his enthusiasm for this first round of companies and their potential. “This initial portfolio of investments exemplifies NIF’s mission to advance defence, security, and resilience and promote the development of dual-use ecosystems across the NATO Alliance,” he said.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester

Strengthening the startup ecosystem in Europe and beyond

In an effort to nurture innovators at every stage of their development, the NATO Innovation Fund is also investing in venture capital fund managers focused on early-stage deep tech. There has been particular focus on southern and eastern Europe and the Nordics, which have historically faced funding barriers.

The venture capital fund managers backed by NIF include Alpine Space Ventures, an early-stage fund with a focus on the space sector; OTB Ventures, a central European deep tech fund specialising in spacetech, enterprise automation and AI, cybersecurity, and fintech infrastructure; Join Capital, a Berlin-based fund focused on industrial and enterprise tech investments; and Vsquared Ventures, which invests in early-stage deep tech companies addressing pressing societal challenges, with a focus on AI, energy transition, new computing and sensing, new space, robotics, and tech-bio.

About the NATO Innovation Fund

The NATO Innovation Fund was signed into being in January 2022, with the support of 24 NATO members. It is a €1 billion multi-sovereign venture fund aimed at investing in deep tech startups and venture capital fund managers in an effort to foster a robust ecosystem that enhances the alliance’s defence, security, and resilience capabilities.

Over a 15-year timeframe, the NATO Innovation Fund aims to “bring to life those nascent technologies that have the power to transform our security in the decades to come, strengthening the alliance’s innovation ecosystem and bolstering the security of our one billion citizens”. Target sectors have been identified as artificial intelligence; big-data processing; quantum-enabled technologies; autonomy; biotechnology and human enhancement; novel materials; energy; propulsion and space.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.