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Twenty-three NATO allies have officially become Limited Partners of the NATO Innovation Fund (NIF), which is preparing to make its initial investments later this year, the alliance announced on 1 August 2023.

The NATO Innovation Fund, which is worth EUR 1 Bn, is the world’s first multi-sovereign venture capital fund and will invest in start-ups developing cutting-edge technological solutions, leveraging the potential for commercial innovation to address critical defence and security challenges.

The fund will make direct investments into start-ups located in any of the 23 participating Allied nations, as well as indirect investments into ‘deep tech’ funds with a trans-Atlantic impact. NATO says the fund “will provide patient capital to meet the needs and timelines of deep tech innovators and to secure an enduring future for the alliance’s one billion citizens”.

Sweden’s contribution will boost the investible capital of the NATO Innovation Fund, which will bolster innovative capacity across the alliance. (Image: NATO)

In a 1 August press release NATO said the participating allies have also welcomed Sweden’s interest in joining the NIF, which will take effect upon Sweden’s accession into the alliance.

“As a member of NATO, Sweden will contribute to the strength of the alliance, not only through our geostrategic location and military capabilities, but also through a vibrant security and defence industry that promotes innovation and development of cutting-edge technology. This is further enabled through participation in the NATO Innovation Fund,” Swedish Defence Minister Pål Jonson was quoted as saying.

David van Weel, NATO’s assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges, stated, “This year’s summit set Sweden further on track to becoming the 32nd country to join our alliance, and this historic step will make way for Sweden to participate in the NATO Innovation Fund and to contribute to its important mission.”

The NATO allies participating in the NIF are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Peter Felstead