The Netherlands has been selected as the headquarters of the NATO Innovation Fund (NIF). announced a decision on Monday. First announced at the Madrid Summit in 2022, the fund will invest €1 billion over the next 15 years on behalf of NATO member states.
NIF is a multi-sovereign venture capital fund that will focus on investments in early stage startups and other venture capital funds developing (dual-use) emerging and disruptive technologies – for use in military and defense applications. These include: artificial intelligence; big data processing; quantum technologies; autonomy; biotechnology and human enhancement; new materials; energy; propulsion and space.
“This allows NATO to tap into the innovation ecosystem for the benefit of our security and defense,” David van Weel, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, said in a statement. The board’s decision to locate NIF’s investment management arm in the Netherlands “marks an important milestone in establishing this historic fund,” he added.
An important advantage of the Netherlands compared to other bidders is that the country’s financial market regulator (AFM) has a relatively fast admission process, the Financial Daily reports, citing NATO sources. And according to the same sources, Amsterdam seems to be the preferred location for NIF’s headquarters, although a final decision has not yet been made.
The Dutch government welcomed the establishment of the fund in the Netherlands, which is expected to “increase the opportunity for innovative Dutch startups to access capital”.
“In this way we strengthen what our country is good at, namely working on solutions for the future,” says Minister Micky Adriaansens of Economic Affairs and Climate.
From Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren,” More investments in high-tech are urgently needed. For example, we are working with our NATO allies to defend against emerging threats. That is also the reason why the Netherlands has already decided to significantly increase the budget for research, technology and innovation.” The Netherlands has therefore pledged to contribute more than €55 million over a period of 15 years.
The fund will be officially launched at the next NATO summit in July in Vilnius, Lithuania.