NATO Innovation Week: the main bodies of NATO’s innovation ecosystem are holding their conferences in Budapest between 18–22 September.
Hungary’s commitment to NATO is reflected in the fact that we are founding members of the NATO Innovation Fund (NIF) and the NATO Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) – stated Brigadier General Dr. Imre Porkoláb, Ministerial Commissioner for Defence Innovation. The brigadier general – who is at once Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of NATO DIANA – added that as a result of Hungary’s active engagement, both organizations have chosen Budapest as the venue of their conferences held between 18–22 September.
On the margins of the conferences, the NATO Innovation Week is being held in the joint organization of the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Innovation and Research Institute Nonprofit Ltd (VIKI), with Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky serving as its chief patron.
According to Brigadier General Dr. Imre Porkoláb, the changed security environment has many challenges in store for the defence sector. He added that among other things, cutting-edge technology is no longer being produced exclusively in the laboratories of large enterprises and the armed forces. Rather, it is being created in the civilian sector as a result of developments taking place in the framework of business and academia.
The brigadier general told the press that VIKI’s tasks are to explore dual-use technologies in Hungary and connect the domestic innovation ecosystem (companies, research institutes) with the Ministry of Defence. Besides, international integration is also critical. For this reason, we must join initiatives such as the NATO NIF, which is a standalone EUR 1 billion venture capital fund, as well as the NATO DIANA, a network that brings together close to one hundred national innovation Test Centres.
According to the Ministerial Commissioner of the Ministry of Defence, the common goals of the two organizations are to include a grouping of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), to provide a fast track for the adaptation of cutting-edge technologies being developed in the civilian sector, and thereby to accelerate defence innovation, which contributes to guaranteeing the citizens’ security and to the building of a strong military force.
Beyond the official sessions, the NATO member states are going to be introduced to the Hungarian innovation ecosystem in the framework of the Innovation Week. Besides, the wider audience can also meet the top leaders of the organization: at the Brain Bar festival on the future, they will take the opportunity provided by the topic “COLLECTIVE (IN)SECURITY – Can NATO survive in a world falling apart?” to share some details of DIANA’s strategy and the results of innovation challenges that are to be announced in a couple of days.