Flemish government to invest in NATO innovation fund
The Flemish regional government will invest 1.5 million euros annually in the NATO Innovation Fund and DIANA, NATO's 'accelerator' for investment in defence innovation. This was decided by the Flemish government at its Council of Ministers, reports Economy minister Jo Brouns.
The DIANA fund was set up two years ago by 17 member states, including Belgium. The fund is intended to ensure that NATO can maintain its technological edge over adversaries such as Russia and China, the secretary-general said when the fund was set up.
Flemish knowledge institutions Imec, Flanders Make and VIB signed an agreement with NATO to participate in the DIANA initiative as test centres. The concrete details of this commitment are still under discussion.
"We see that applications are increasingly being developed on the basis of civilian technologies"
"While in the last century the government the military were at the cradle of many technological breakthroughs, today we see that applications are increasingly being developed on the basis of civilian technologies," says Brouns. "That is why we talk about dual-use technologies, and that is what both DIANA and the NATO Innovation Fund will focus on".
According to the minister, this is the first time that Flanders has contributed to the NATO target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence.
#FlandersNewsService | Flemish economy minister Jo BrounsE© BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE