Barbara McQuiston, the U.S. Representative to the Board of Directors for the NATO DIANA Initiative, has been elected Chair of the board, a critical role in helping the Alliance’s new technology innovation effort achieve Initial Operating Capability and setting its strategic direction.
“This tremendous news means the NATO DIANA initiative will have steady, expert leadership with Barbara at the helm,” said Heidi Shyu, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. “In this critical role, she will be well positioned to put her extensive knowledge and experience to work and help put the Alliance’s innovation efforts on the right path for the future.”
The NATO DIANA Initiative will bring defense personnel together with the Alliance’s best and brightest start-ups, scientific researchers, and technology companies to solve critical defense and security challenges with dual-use technological solutions. Shyu named McQuiston as the U.S. representative to the Board on Oct. 31, 2022.
“I am eager to begin working with our NATO allies to tap the broad, deep base of technology innovation across the Alliance, speed the transition from brilliant idea to military capability, and put science and engineering to work defending our shared values,” McQuiston said.
NATO announced the DIANA Initiative at the North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels on June 14, 2021. The Initiative’s goal is to enhance and accelerate transatlantic cooperation on critical technologies, and help NATO work more closely with private-sector entities, academia and other non-governmental entities. DIANA will have main offices in both Europe and North America, and coordinate with existing test and innovation centers throughout NATO. The Initiative will also build and manage a network to help start-ups and non-traditional companies better support Alliance technology requirements. DIANA will focus on nine key emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, data, quantum-enabled technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, hypersonics, novel materials and manufacturing, energy and propulsion, and space. DIANA will also leverage a venture capital fund, called the NATO Innovation Fund, which will invest €1 billion over 15 years into deep-tech startups.