Allies take further steps to establish NATO Innovation Fund
At the 2022 Madrid Summit, 22 Allies launched the NATO Innovation Fund, the world’s first multi-sovereign venture capital fund. Since then, significant steps have been made to fully establish the Fund by NATO’s Vilnius Summit in July 2023.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Signing Ceremony of the NATO Innovation Fund Letter of Commitment (30 June 2022)
Participating NATO Allies have recently appointed, by consensus, the first three members of the NATO Innovation Fund Board of Directors: its Chair, Dr. Klaus Hommels, founder and chair of venture capital firm Lakestar; as well as Dame Fiona Murray, Associate Dean of Innovation and Inclusion at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Management; and Dr. Roberto Cingolani, former Italian Minister for Ecological Transition and founder of the Italian Institute of Technology. The Board of Directors will ultimately total nine members. This Board of Directors will be support and advise the Fund’s Senior Management Team, which will be formed in the coming weeks. Global search firms True Search and Egon Zehnder are supporting efforts to identify the leadership for the Senior Management Team and the Board of Directors respectively.
On Monday (20 March 2023), the Fund’s Chair and first two Directors have announced their decision that The Netherlands will host the headquarters for the Fund’s investment management arm. Given the wide geographic remit of the Fund, further regional offices will be set up across the Alliance.
Mr. David van Weel, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, welcomed these announcements which “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.”
The NATO Innovation Fund itself is a financial partnership between participating NATO Allies as Limited Partners and an investment management arm purpose-built specifically for this Fund. Participating Allies have previously agreed to domicile the partnership in Luxembourg. The Fund will invest EUR €1 billion in early-stage start-ups developing emerging and disruptive technologies and other venture capital funds developing dual-use emerging and disruptive technologies (deep tech) .