Estonian President visits White City Campus to see NATO’s innovation accelerator

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President of Estonia

The President of Estonia (fourth from right) visited Imperial's White City Campus

The President of Estonia, Alar Karis, visited Imperial’s White City Campus to meet researchers and see NATO's innovation headquarters based there.

Through the research, development and innovation activities of Imperial’s Institute for Security Science and Technology (ISST), one of the two regional offices for NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) has been established at Imperial's Translation & Innovation HUB (I-HUB) at White City. The regional office will be hosted through a UK-Estonia partnership, supported by a hub in Tallinn and a North America regional office, due to open in Canada. 

DIANA works with leading innovators – from early-stage start-ups to more mature companies – to accelerate, test, evaluate and validate new dual-use technologies that address both societal challenges and critical national security issues. 

President of Estonia with academics
The President of Estonia visited NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) based at the I-Hub at Imperial's White City Campus

Start-ups and other innovators in DIANA's programmes have access to its network of accelerator sites and test centres across Europe and North America. Some of the areas of focus for DIANA include big data, artificial intelligence, novel materials, energy resilience, sensors, secure information sharing, and health. 

Professor Deeph Chana, Managing Director of DIANA (former ISST Director), said: "DIANA will be an innovation powerhouse. We are bringing together academia, the private sector, and governments to develop cutting edge dual-use technologies. DIANA will create innovation ecosystems in Allied countries that will help NATO keep its technological edge." 

The I-HUB has rapidly become a key place for security innovation thanks to the ISST Innovation Ecosystem which co-locates major companies alongside government, serving as one of the inspirations for the new DIANA initiative. 

White City innovation ecosystem

Group picture
The President of Estonia visited the Molecular Sciences Research Hub

President Karis, who was joined by James Cartlidge, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, Dr Nick Joad, Director of Defence Science & Technology in the Ministry of Defence, and Estonia's Ambassador to the UK Viljar Lubi, met Imperial’s President Hugh Brady and academics at the College to discuss how White City has become home to some of the world’s most innovative organisations. 

They discussed the future development of the White City Campus and how its innovation ecosystem is attracting a large number of startups and multinationals to the area.

“Our White City Campus brings together scientists, organisations and industry on an unprecedented scale and is becoming a global beacon for cutting-edge innovation, technology and research.”  Hugh Brady President of Imperial College London

Imperial’s President Hugh Brady said: “Imperial is committed to working with international partners around the world to deliver real world benefits to society. As a world class research university Imperial is in a unique position to create a vibrant ecosystem for the next major breakthroughs.   
“Our White City Campus brings together scientists, organisations and industry on an unprecedented scale and is becoming a global beacon for cutting-edge innovation, technology and research.” 

As an example of the cutting-edge research facilities that innovators have access to at White City, Professor Oscar Ces, Head of Department of Chemistry, showcased the Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH) to the delegation. The MSRH brings together hundreds of scientists, clinicians, engineers and business partners to address common challenges in areas such as energy, healthcare and sustainability. 

Professor Ces explained how the Agilent Measurement Suite, which houses state of the art equipment, provides unrivalled capabilities for researchers at Imperial and beyond to apply the latest measurement technologies to their research. 


Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns
Communications Division

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Max Swinscow-Hall

Max Swinscow-Hall
Institute for Security Science & Technology


European-Union, Security-science, President, International, Europe
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