Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană opened the “Defence Disrupted 2022” conference on Thursday (26 May 2022), stressing the importance of maintaining NATO’s technological edge, and remaining at the forefront of defence innovation. In a video address to participants gathered in London, he reflected on how innovation and technology have always been central to NATO’s mission of preventing war.
Underlining NATO’s vital role as a platform for cooperation on technology and innovation, Mr Geoană noted that interoperability is essential to credible collective defence. “Two ships may sail side-by-side, but if their systems cannot communicate, if they cannot operate as part of a larger whole, they may as well be in different oceans,” he said. He welcomed that NATO’s new Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) will “identify and develop the next generation of new technologies”, working with dozens of sites across Europe and North America. DIANA, together with a new multinational NATO Innovation Fund for start-ups developing “cutting-edge dual-use technologies”, should be fully operational in 2023.
The Deputy Secretary General concluded by saying that “it is vital that the open, democratic nations of the world work together to ensure our values remain at the heart of our technological future.” He added: “it is up to all of us to play our part in maintaining our security, and building a better, safer world for future generations”.