Ukraine is moving to a new level of cooperation with NATO in the field of innovation. During a meeting in Brussels, Vice Prime Minister for Innovation, Education, Science and Technology Development – Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov and NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges David van Weel launched a high-level Innovation Dialogue between Ukraine and NATO and discussed further cooperation in the field of technology and defense innovation.
During the full-scale war, the world discovered Ukraine as a technological and innovative country. And now our country remains an ideal testground for testing and developing the best defense-tech solutions. That's why NATO is interested in cooperating with Ukraine and is already considering opportunities to support Ukrainian defense products. In particular, the developments of the Brave1 defense tech cluster.
“Along with their bravery, we praise the creativity, agility and innovation that the Armed Forces of Ukraine embody. NATO stands with Ukraine, including in their innovation efforts. As wartime hobbyists, startups and NGOs help overmatch Russian aggressors today – we can also see a pathway for a robust Ukrainian innovation ecosystem in the economic reconstruction of the country tomorrow,” NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, David van Weel said.
The Ministry of Digital Transformation and NATO are going to start working in two areas: launching NATO's expert evaluation support for Ukrainian dual-use technology solutions and exploring ways to help finance innovations that benefit Ukraine and the Alliance. Also in 2022, the Alliance launched the NATO Innovation Fund. The fund plans to invest €1 billion in startups that develop dual-use technologies that are a priority for NATO. It will start its active work this year.
Ukraine already has joint developments with NATO. The Delta situational awareness system, which displays the battlefield in real time, was created at the Defense Technology Innovation and Development Center of the Ministry of Defense according to NATO standards.
"This is the biggest war since World War II and at the same time the most technological war in human history. Innovations play a special role in confronting the enemy, which is many times superior in terms of weapons and personnel. The launch of the NATO-Ukraine Innovation Dialogue is an important step that will bring cooperation between our country and the Alliance to a new level. We are also ready to share our experience with our allies. After all, we have been using innovations in real-world combat operations for more than a year now," - Mykhailo Fedorov noted.
During the meeting, Mykhailo Fedorov and David van Weel summarized the achievements of NATO's Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Program. In 2014, Ukraine became the most active participant in this Alliance program: Ukrainian scientists are currently leading more than 20 SPS initiatives.
We look forward to consolidating the agreements on innovation following the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July at the level of the Alliance's heads of state and government.