Deeph Chana, Managing Director of the innovation accelerator NATO DIANA, visits Estonia

Managing Director of the NATO Defence Innovation Accelerator Network for the North Atlantic (DIANA), Professor Deeph Chana, came to Estonia last week, appearing at the Latitude59 conference for startups and visiting the Tehnopol Science and Business Park, where one of the three DIANAs in Europe will open in June.

After meeting staff from ministries and visiting TalTech, Deeph Chana met the leaders of the Estonian testing centres at Tehnopol and they jointly signed a memorandum of understanding. The DIANA accelerator will bring together several local test environments for new technology from TalTech, the University of Tartu, Foundation CR14, the National Defence College, the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, and the Estonian Aviation Academy.

Professor Deeph Chana was delighted to discuss with Estonian hosts the progress that is being made in establishing DIANA’s regional hub in Tallinn.  “I continue to be impressed by the enthusiasm, expertise and commitment of all those working on this effort in Estonia. Together, we are building an innovation engine to support the best and brightest from across the Alliance to develop dual-use technologies to solve strategic security and defence challenges. I am looking forward to cooperating with Estonian start-ups to that end,” he added.

A branch of the European headquarters of DIANA will be opened at the Tehnopol Science and Business Park. The CEO of Tehnopol Indrek Orav said that they value very highly the opportunity to use Tehnopol’s knowledge and experience to launch NATO DIANA innovation accelerator. “Supporting innovation and world-changing technologies is very clearly a common denominator for Tehnopol and NATO DIANA,” he said. Orav added that Startup Incubator’s goal-oriented and hard-working team has already made some connections and the first contacts of start-ups that are interested in DIANA have reached Tehnopol.

Head of DIANA-affiliated accelerator in Estonia Kadri Tammai said that many companies assume that because DIANA is a NATO innovation accelerator, only companies working in the defence industry will be expected to apply to it. “Actually, companies from civilian industries are welcome to apply if they are developing technologies that are targeted at individuals or other businesses but that could also find applications in national defence”, she said.

DIANA will be open to receive applications in the second half of June. The accelerator is looking for startups developing dual-use technologies that can be employed in both the military and civilian sectors. The technologies it is targeting are those in the three general categories of energy resilience, secure information sharing, and sensing and surveillance. For more information about DIANA see

The accelerator in Estonia will be led by the Tehnopol Science and Business Park working together with the Tartu Science Park and the business accelerator Startup Wiseguys.

Photos from the visit (by the Estonian Ministry of Defence):

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