Organizers of the event are the Ministries of Economy and Industry, Defense, Innovation and Growth, under the auspices of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, Mariya Gabriel.

GATE’s team presented the opportunities offered by the NATO Innovation Fund DIANA for Bulgarian business. During the conference, GATE’s booth was visited by David van Weel, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges.

The GATE Institute is among the first test centres of DIANA, whose purpose is to help Bulgarian innovators and entrepreneurs develop their technologies for the solution of global problems, as well as to give them an opportunity for new markets in Europe and North America. GATE provides a range of testing and verification services covering different levels of technological readiness against established European standards.

The purpose of the conference was to focus on the growing need to support Europe’s defense industry in the current unstable geopolitical environment caused by the war in Ukraine and the armed conflict in the Gaza Strip. Participants in the discussion on the future of the European defense technological and industrial base and the opportunities for innovation in the defense sector to strengthen Europe’s capacity to respond to current and future security and defense challenges were: Timo Pessonen, Director of the General Directorate “Defense Industry and Space” at the European Commission; Jiri Shedivi, Executive Director of the European Defense Agency, David van Weel, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges as well as representatives of the NATO Communication and Information Agency (NCIA ) and the NATO Support Agency. (NSPA).

The Bulgarian defense industry and innovative organizations and companies active in the sector shared experience gained from participating in NATO and EU initiatives.

The mission of the GATE Institute is to be a link between science, industry and society, and this fits into the vision of the Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). GATE’s role as NATO’s test center contributes to national priorities and helps bridging the gap in the technological pace of development among the members of the Alliance.

Bulgarian and international innovators can benefit from the infrastructure and expertise of the GATE Institute to subject their products to testing, evaluation, verification and validation. Thus, companies can increase the technological maturity of their products, attract more funding and break into new markets for dual-use products.