Netherlands lands NATO Innovation Fund headquarters

The Netherlands was selected to host the new NATO Innovation Fund in a decision announced on Monday. The venture capital fund will be responsible for investing one billion euros on behalf NATO Allies over the next 15 years.

It will focus investing activity on “early-stage start-ups developing emerging and disruptive technologies and other venture capital funds developing dual-use emerging and disruptive technologies (deep tech).” The deal to start the find was made at last year’s summit in Madrid.

Since then, NATO named Lakestar venture capital and fund founder Klaus Hommels as the new fund’s board chair. He will be joined on the board by Fiona Murray, an associate Dean at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Roberto Cingolani, who founded the Italian Institute of Technology and served as Italy’s Minister for Ecological Transition. A total of nine members will have a seat on the board, with an eye towards launching the fund at the summit in Vilnius, Lithuania this July.

The three together selected the Netherlands to be home of the NATO fund. “Given the wide geographic remit of the Fund, further regional offices will be set up across the Alliance,” NATO said in a statement.

The board’s first decisions “mark an important milestone in setting up this historic fund, which will allow NATO to tap into the innovation ecosystem for the benefits of our security and defence,” said NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges David van Weel.

“It is expected that the establishment of this fund in the Netherlands will increase the possibility for innovative Dutch startups to find their way to capital. This will stimulate the development of innovative complex technologies that offer solutions for social and defense issues,” said the Dutch Ministry of Defense.

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