Minister Blair congratulates successful Canadian innovators in first NATO DIANA challenges

News release

December 8, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As announced in 2022, NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) is coming to Canada, with its North American Regional Office finding a home in Halifax. NATO DIANA unites the best and brightest innovators from across the Alliance, and provides deep tech and dual-use innovators with access to NATO resources including grant funding, acceleration services, and pathways to adapt their solutions for defence and security needs.

In June 2023, NATO DIANA launched its first-ever competitive challenges, focusing on energy resilience, secure information sharing, and sensing and surveillance. Canadian companies submitted the second-highest number of submissions with 211, just behind the United States with 215. These numbers indicate the high interest among Canadian researchers and innovators in DIANA. Of the 44 successful companies announced last week by NATO, seven are Canadian.

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, congratulated the seven Canadian innovators who were selected to advance in the first competitive challenges. These include:

These innovators will receive funding and entry into phase one of the NATO DIANA accelerator “Boot camp”, where they will develop or adapt their technology for the needs of the Alliance. In addition, they will gain access to the NATO DIANA network of accelerators and test centres across Allied nations in North America and Europe.

Finally, Minister Blair confirmed that the interim location for the DIANA North American regional office has been secured, and will open by summer 2024 at the TD Centre at 1791 Barrington Street in Halifax. As he announced at this year’s Halifax International Security Forum, this will be supported by Canada’s initial investment of $26.6 million over six years.

Canada will continue to invest in our innovators, so that their technologies can meet the needs of our NATO Alliance in a changing world.


“NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic is supporting Canadian innovators as they adapt their solutions for defence and security needs. As the rules-based international order is increasingly challenged, it is essential that Allies work together to sharpen NATO’s technological edge. The strong showing of seven successful Canadian innovators in these first three NATO DIANA challenges shows that Canada is ready to answer that challenge, with the best and brightest in the world.

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence 

“Halifax's selection as the site for NATO DIANA's North American Regional Office underscores our city's growing role in advancing cutting-edge innovation. Today’s announcement further solidifies Canada's position as an important player in fostering collaborative solutions to address the evolving challenges faced by the NATO Alliance. By leveraging our local strengths in support of the broader goals of the Alliance, we are making a meaningful contribution to NATO while supporting regional economic growth.”

Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax

“NATO DIANA gives innovators the opportunity to solve defence and security challenges faced by the NATO Alliance, ensuring Canada and the Alliance have a technological edge as we enter a new era in the realm of defence.”

Philippe Hébert, Director General Innovation, Defence Research and Development Canada

Quick facts

  • One year ago, Canada proposed Halifax as the site for the North American Regional Office of NATO DIANA. 

  • Halifax is home to an impressive defence innovation network, including Defence Research and Development Canada’s Atlantic Research Centre, and marine technology innovation centres like COVE. 

  • NATO DIANA will be coordinated by two regional offices – one in Halifax, the other in London, UK. 

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Diana Ebadi
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Relations
Global Affairs Canada
Phone: 343-203-7700

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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