NATO Innovation Fund visits the ocean technology community in Trondheim

NATO Innovation Fund visits the ocean technology community in Trondheim

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NATO's Innovation Fund - NIF is a key component of NATO's focus on technology and innovation. The fund has a total size of 1 billion euros over 15 years and invests in technologies that could be crucial in future military operations.

The Norwegian share is approximately 400 million Norwegian kroner. Recently, a number of Trondheim's ocean technology companies have received visits from the fund. They exclusively invest in research-based startups in "deep tech," aiming to be a significant source of investment for Norway's high-tech industry.

NATOS innovasjonsfond Foto Lars Bugge Aarset - Fremtidens Industri (55)Visit at Oceantech Innovation. Photo: Lars Bugge Aarset/Ocean Autonomy Cluster

Can create at least 1000 more jobs

"Our mission is capacity building, to build local capacity within 'deep tech'," says Thorsten Claus, who leads NIF's fund-of-funds platform in NATO's Innovation Fund. "If there is indeed a cluster of interest that we can finance, where we have startups that we can fund, it will create a gravity like an accelerator. This will automatically create at least 1000 more jobs in the region," he says. "Not only that, it will be a huge inspiration for everyone working at the university to see that there is a career path in 'dual use of deep tech' and ocean technology," says Claus.

"The visit is an important contribution to positioning the technology community in Trondheim," says Anders Aune at NTNU Technology Transfer. "We get to showcase that we have an area where we have incredibly exciting research and knowledge-based startups that can be attractive for NATO's Innovation Fund."

NATOS innovasjonsfond Foto Lars Bugge Aarset - Fremtidens Industri (41)Anders Aune, NTNU Technology Transfer. Photo: Lars Bugge Aarset/Ocean Autonomy Cluster

"We particularly want to showcase an area where Norway and Trondheim excel, which is ocean technology. Here, we have around twenty to thirty startup companies and some major end customers, as well as larger players like Kongsberg Group. We have also been able to demonstrate that we have infrastructure and facilities for testing both in labs, visually and digitally, and physical testing in pools, ports, and fjords," says Aune.

NATOS innovasjonsfond Foto Lars Bugge Aarset - Fremtidens Industri (6)Thorsten Claus, NATO's Innovation Fund. Photo: Lars Bugge Aarset/Ocean Autonomy Cluster

"Ohh man, that’s gold. That’s amazing!"

"The most important thing we've seen today is the phenomenal collaboration. NIF only invests in great teams, and teamwork is, of course, a matter of collaboration. What we've seen today are perfect examples: How many startup companies exchange ideas and technologies and find commercial engagement with each other? They share customer information. They share experiences about the customers, how they buy, what they buy, and when they buy. Oh, man, that’s gold. That’s amazing!"

Photo gallery from the visit

Photos by Lars Bugge Aarset/Ocean Autonomy Cluster

 

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