NATO’s $1.1 Billion Innovation Fund Invests in AI, Robotics, and Space Technology

NATO allies have confirmed the initial recipients of funding from their $1.1 billion innovation fund.

The fund, announced in the summer of 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, aims to bolster the alliance’s defenses with advanced technology. The initiative is backed by 24 member states, including Finland and Sweden, who joined the alliance earlier this year.

On Tuesday, the NATO Innovation Fund (NIF) revealed direct investments in four European tech companies, designed to address defense, security, and resilience challenges.

The NIF has allocated funds to Fractile, a London-based chipmaker focused on accelerating large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT. Also receiving funding is ARX Robotics from Germany, specializing in unmanned robots capable of tasks ranging from heavy lifting to surveillance.

The other two recipients are British manufacturer iCOMAT, which develops lighter materials for vehicles, and Space Forge, a Welsh company utilizing space environments – such as microgravity and vacuum conditions – to manufacture semiconductors in orbit.

“Enabling access to strategic technologies is key to securing a safe and prosperous future for the alliance’s one billion citizens,” said Andrea Traversone, the fund’s managing partner.

The fund has also partnered with venture capital firms Alpine Space Ventures, OTB Ventures, Join Capital and Vsquared Ventures to facilitate further investment in promising startups.