The Launch selected as NATO DIANA network test centre
Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Launch NATO

The Launch, the Marine Institute’s state-of-the-art living lab in Holyrood, has been selected as a test centre for NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic network.The Launch NATO Paul Brett

The Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) network provides a variety of cutting-edge infrastructure where companies and researchers can de-risk, demonstrate and validate dual-use technologies for both defence and civilian purposes.

The Launch was officially designated as a test centre today, along with 12 other Canadian test centres and two accelerator sites.

“Canada is a hub for defence innovation – and Canadian innovators have a great deal to offer our NATO Allies. Today, I congratulate all the Canadian accelerators and test centres for being selected to join NATO’s defence innovation network. The integration of our domestic experts with NATO’s network will strengthen our capacity to develop cutting-edge solutions to the security challenges faced by Canada and our NATO allies,” said the Hon. Bill Blair, minister of National Defence.

The transatlantic DIANA network, which now totals 182 test centres and 23 accelerator sites, includes government programs, universities and corporate research arms.

“This designation exemplifies the Marine Institute’s continued commitment to industry and academia. The Launch provides an ideal testing and demonstration environment for the DIANA network. This transatlantic network is a great example of the power of international collaboration in fostering innovative technologies and developing solutions for real-world problems,” said Dr. Paul Brett, vice-president of Memorial University (Marine Institute).

Test centres are matched with selected entrepreneurs and researchers who are developing and evaluating their concepts and technologies for defence, security and civilian uses.

“We are incredibly honoured to join the DIANA network as a Canadian test centre and will continue our work within this innovation ecosystem to support the testing, refining and deployment of novel technologies to address NATO challenges,” said Kelley Santos, director, The Launch.The Launch NATO Kelley Santos

“This designation once again reinforces the significant role of the Marine Institute and Memorial University of Newfoundland in providing access to world-class infrastructure and test facilities to diverse innovators and partners nationally and internationally. We look forward to contributing to the DIANA innovation ecosystem and collaborating with its transatlantic network to develop world-leading technologies.”

DIANA is a NATO body bringing together universities, industry and governments to work with start-ups and other technology innovators to solve critical defence and security challenges. The network was launched in 2021 to foster transatlantic cooperation on critical technologies, promote inter-operability among Allied forces and harness civilian innovation by engaging with academia and the private sector.

The Launch features a digitally connected living lab environment for technology development, testing, validation and demonstration that supports applied research and commercialization of new technologies in marine and related sectors.

The facility provides shared access to an extensive range of autonomous surface vehicles, metaocean buoys, autonomous and remotely operated vehicles, and gliders. The Launch is home to SmartAtlantic, the largest applied ocean observatory system in Canada, and data provider to the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observation System.

Learn more in the Gazette.