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NATO expands its defence innovation network in Hungary

Text: Ministry of Defence | Photo: Gábor Nagy (archive), Gábor Kormány (archive) |  12:19 March 19, 2024

NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) has announced that it expands and doubles its presence in Hungary by connecting accelerator sites and test centers for technological development into its research and development network.

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Beyond the development and transfer of state-of-the-art technologies and the manufacturing of defence equipment, the goal of NATO DIANA is to enable defence-based innovation to create added values with a wide use in society. Hungary joins the dynamically growing defence industry innovation network of the Alliance with an accelerator site, that is, an accelerator and test centres so that it can strengthen both domestic and international R&D cooperation as well as the utilization of new technologies within the Alliance. The civilian-military dual use of the solutions contributes to domestic industrial growth. The acceleration of innovation supports domestic companies in introducing and selling their products on NATO level, which creates further jobs and serves as a stimulus for economic growth.

The first Hungary-based DIANA accelerator site is to start operating under the name VIKI-NOKIA, as a result of cooperation between the Defence Innovation Research Institute Non-profit Ltd (VIKI) and Nokia Solutions and Networks Ltd. The accreditation of six Hungarian DIANA test centers further strengthens Hungary’s role within NATO. The test centers have been established by the University of Pécs, Óbuda University, BHE Bonn Hungary Electronics Ltd, Alverad Technology Focus Ltd, ITSec Area Ltd as well as Nokia Bell Labs.

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In 2023, two Hungarian test centers – ZalaZONE Automotive Proving Ground and ZalaZONE Research and Technology Center – were already put on the map of NATO’s innovation network as accredited DIANA test centres.

“Hungary is now present in DIANA’s ecosystem with nine institutions. This shows that we have an outstanding domestic knowledge base, a community of experts and cutting-edge infrastructure in the fields of artificial intelligence, automatization and 5G. This rate of increase in Hungarian presence in DIANA contributes to the furthering of knowledge transfer, as well as the successes of Hungarian innovators’ applications” – emphasized Brigadier General Imre Porkoláb, Ministerial Commissioner for Defence Innovation. He added that “In 2024, we’re celebrating not only NATO’s 75th anniversary but also the 25th anniversary of Hungary’s accession. Our contribution to the DIANA network also demonstrates our commitment to the Alliance.

The DIANA accelerator sites provide world-class services for participating companies, while the network of test centers makes it possible to test the developments in facilities furnished with cutting-edge equipment. This ecosystem is available to companies supported through financing and training in DIANA’s framework, provides them with expert consulting and access to the testing of the solutions of start-ups in a special environment, and makes it possible to establish contacts with investors and a wide-ranging industrial network.


“Part of DIANA’s strength is our unique transatlantic network of talent centers 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 groundbreaking solutions for defence, security and peace.” – emphasized Prof. Deeph Chana, managing director of DIANA.

(Press release of the Ministry of Defence)