November 30, 2023

Meet the 30 European deeptech startups picked for the Nato accelerator

These startups will initially receive a grant of €100k, with a possible €300k top-up 

Autonomous sea platforms by DotOcean

Nato has chosen 44 startups from Nato member countries to take part in its first-ever accelerator programme — and 30 of them are European.

DIANA (short for the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic) is at the heart of Nato’s efforts to boost defence and dual-use innovation across the alliance. It’s set aside €50m a year to run the programme. Nato has also set up a €1bn investment fund to make equity investments in dual-use companies. 

As of next year, the chosen startups will participate in an intensive six-month programme, while the most successful companies will be invited to stay on for a further six months. They’ll initially receive a grant of €100k, with a possible €300k top-up. 


The startups will also receive mentorship, commercial, technical and business support and the possibility to test their solutions in specially designed Nato test centres. 

The first cohort is focused on companies working on three areas in particular — energy resilience, sensing and surveillance and secure information sharing. 

Here are the European startups selected for the first programme: 

Ephos — Italy

Ephos is commercialising years of research at the National Research Council of Italy and the Sapienza University of Rome to make high-fidelity photonic chips for the development of quantum technology. It claims to cut down the production of chips from months to days. 

G2-Zero — Spain

Founded in Madrid in 2020 as an academic spinoff, g2-Zero produces plug-and-play quantum devices.

QuadSAT — Denmark

QuadSAT uses drones as stand-ins for satellites to test and calibrate antennas on the ground. 

Dronetag — Czech Republic

Based in Prague, Dronetag develops a solution for drone traffic management in the European airspace.

Neuromorphica — Bulgaria

There’s little public information about Neuromorphica.

Qubitrium — Turkey

Founded in 2020, Qubitrium offers solutions to problems in quantum cryptography, communication and quantum sensing.

LevelQuantum — Italy

The Milan-based startup offers cybersecurity protocols based on optical quantum communications. 

Vistareader — Lithuania

There’s little public information about Vistareader.

Secqai — UK

The London startup develops quantum hardware and has received £100k from the UK government to come up with ultra-low-power AI tech, which mirrors the neural structure of the human brain.

Revobeam — Poland

There’s little public information about Revobeam.

AVoptics — UK

It makes fibre optic, photonic, electrical and electronic solutions for harsh environments, including aerospace.

Anzen Technology Systems — UK

Anzen provides end-to-end cybersecurity services and consultancy to companies in sectors such as pharma and critical infrastructure installations.

GIM Robotics — Finland

Founded in 2014, GIM Robotics builds intelligent robots — which can operate in an unknown environment and learn from them — for use in industry.

Astrolight — Lithuania

Astrolight develops secure laser communication systems for aerospace and defence companies.

Zelestium Technologies — Spain

It aims to contribute to the production of smart EV batteries for urban mobility, and is building a factory in Talavera de la Reina, Toledo.


SOTIRIA Technology — Greece

From Athens, SOTIRIA aims to lead the European development of AI sensing technology for critical aerospace and defence applications. Its products are being deployed in areas including maritime terrain security.

Aquark Technologies — UK

Aquark claims it will produce the first plug-and-play, cold-atom quantum device on the market — the size of a match box — which will enable the mass market adoption of quantum technologies.

Water Linked — Norway

Founded in Trondheim in 2013, Water Linked offers underwater acoustic communication and positioning systems.

Elwave — France

Elwave produces technologies to equip subsea and industrial robots with 360° detection and navigation capabilities.

Grayscale AI — UK

Grayscale is developing fully autonomous robots using neuromorphic computing and AI. 

DotOcean — Belgium

Located in Bruges with hubs in Ghent and Leuven, dotOcean builds software for controlling robots operating in the maritime, civil and security industries.

Skarv Technologies — Norway

Founded by four PhDs in Trondheim, Skarv offers software and hardware to operate large fleets of autonomous robots deployed in the ocean. 

Lobster Robotics — The Netherlands

Based in Delft, south Holland, the Dutch startup combines photographs of the seabed into visual maps to understand what is happening in that environment.

WPE Research & Development — Italy

Headquartered in Padova, this startup develops wind power generation devices, including a microturbine for cities.

Kitepower — The Netherlands

A spinoff from TU Delft, Kitepower develops alternatives to existing wind turbines, including mobile airborne wind energy systems using kites to produce electricity. They can be used in disaster areas, refugee camps, construction sites and festivals.

Goldilock Secure — UK

The startup, working from University of Wolverhampton Science Park, offers a patented cybersecurity solution, allowing for the physical segmentation of digital assets and networks remotely, without internet dependence. 


The Edinburgh-based startup wants to create a future-proof power grid by revolutionising existing transformer technology: making them digital, smart devices, at a comparable cost and size to existing devices.

Ore Energy — the Netherlands

The Amsterdam-based startup is working on a new generation of long-duration energy storage solutions.

IceWind — Iceland

The Reykjavik-based startup designs and manufactures small vertical-axis wind turbines for telecom towers and residential applications such as homes, cabins and farms.

Galtec — Estonia

The Tartu-based startup creates fuel cells with very high power density — they deliver more power while taking up less space compared to competing technologies — which are able to power drones, off-grid equipment, IoT and portable devices, and space equipment.

Cristina Gallardo

Cristina Gallardo is a senior reporter at Sifted based in Madrid and Barcelona. She covers Europe's tech sovereignty, deeptech and Iberia. Follow her on X and LinkedIn

Zosia Wanat

Zosia Wanat is a senior reporter at Sifted. She covers the CEE region and policy. Follow her on X and LinkedIn