The headquarters of the NATO Innovation Fund (NIF) will be located in the Netherlands, the NIF has announced today. The NIF is one of NATO's initiatives to drive innovation within the alliance. The Netherlands had proposed within NATO that the offices for the fund be established in the Netherlands. That was a close collaboration between the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), Techleap.nl and the Ministry of Defence. The NIF will be officially launched during the NATO summit in Vilnius in July this year.
It is expected that the establishment of this fund in the Netherlands will increase the possibility for innovative Dutch start-ups to gain access to capital. This stimulates the development of innovative complex technologies that offer solutions for both societal and security issues.
Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy therefore welcomes the announcement: “The NATO Innovation Fund positions the Netherlands even more firmly among investment funds for innovative companies. This helps start-ups to develop further in the Netherlands. In this way, we are strengthening what our country is good at, namely working on solutions for the future.”
The fund is in line with the ambitions of the Ministry of Defence to innovate in the field of so-called Emerging & Disruptive Technologies (EDTs). The NIF invests in startups and funds that are focused on EDTs, among other things. The application of EDTs and cooperation with the technology sector are crucial, according to Minister of Defence Kajsa Ollongren. “More investment in high-tech is urgently needed. For example, we are working with our NATO allies to defend against new threats. That is also why the Netherlands has already decided to substantially increase the budget for research, technology and innovation. The arrival of the headquarters of the NATO Innovation Fund is an important milestone to this end. It's great that the Netherlands, as a knowledge nation, can host the fund. ”
Maurice van Tilburg, Managing Director of Techleap.nl adds: “The deep tech industry is essential for the societal transitions and the current challenges with regard to autonomy for the Netherlands and Europe. From universities and research institutes, to incubators and investors, the Netherlands is pleased to contribute to setting up this fund to further the development of key enabling technologies in Europe.”
Together, NATO allies are making at least €1 billion available for the NIF, which has a term of 15 years. The Netherlands has pledged to contribute more than €55 million in that period.