More than 60 companies, startups and entrepreneurs participated in the meeting. They will be able to apply soon to NATO to verify and accelerate their technological ideas.

In 2022, after applying to the International Secretariat of NATO, the GATE Institute was selected as a test center in the field of big data and artificial intelligence. As part of the DIANA network (a network of administrative, test and analytical centers to help find solutions to critical transatlantic security technological challenges by making collaboration between industry, start-ups and academia even closer), it will host innovators from the entire Alliance to test their developments for evaluation, validation and verification purposes.

During the information day, the director of GATE – professor Dr. Silvia Ilieva, emphasized that the Institute’s mission to be a bridge between science, industry and society fits into DIANA’s vision. GATE’s role as a NATO test center contributes to our national priorities, such as bridging the gap in the technological pace of development between individual Allies in the Alliance.

Professor Ilieva highlighted the experience and expertise of the Institute, matching the priority areas of DIANA. Among them are the secure exchange of information and the resilience of critical infrastructure. GATE is the initiator of a number of initiatives such as the first Bulgarian data space. It also heads a regional hub to fight disinformation and, as part of its applied research area “Future Cities”, develops innovations to help the effective planning and sustainability of urban infrastructure to improve the quality of life of citizens. During the event, GATE presented the infrastructure that entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from. It stands out with independence from external cloud providers, capacity to create huge data lakes, as well as high-quality power software guaranteeing the entire development life cycle. Based on its high-tech infrastructure, GATE will provide a range of testing and verification services covering different levels of technological readiness against established European standards.

In addition to raising the prestige of Bulgaria as a reliable ally, the establishment of a NATO test center in the field of big data and artificial intelligence in the country has the potential to attract new investments and provide Bulgaria with access to the latest technologies throughout the Alliance. The creation of a network of test centers for the development of new technologies supports the management and development of the overall technological potential of the Alliance. In this sense, Bulgaria’s participation in this endeavor also guarantees the freedom and security of Bulgarian citizens and the stability of our national institutions, as well as those in the other 30 NATO member states.