Klaus Hommels, founder and chairman of the European VC heavyweight Lakestar, has been picked to head up the board of directors of NATO Innovation Fund — the security alliance’s €1bn venture arm that aims to invest in early-stage European defence tech.
The 22 parties participating in the programme have chosen the first three members of the fund’s board, according to a NATO announcement late on Monday. In addition to Hommels, Fiona Murray, associate dean of innovation and inclusion at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Management, and Roberto Cingolani, former Italian minister for ecological transition and founder of the Italian Institute of Technology, have been appointed.
The fund’s investment management arm will be headquartered in the Netherlands, the alliance also announced yesterday.
The fund plans to hire six other directors to its board as well as a senior management team. The board of directors will support and advise the fund’s senior management team, which will be formed in the coming weeks. Further regional offices will be set up in other countries participating in the fund.
The fund was launched in 2022 by 22 of the military alliance’s 30 members (notably excluding the US), who will act as limited partners. NATO hopes to kick off the fund’s activities during a summit planned for July in Vilnius. The fund will invest both directly in startups as well as in other VCs.
Zosia Wanat is a senior reporter at Sifted. She covers the CEE region and policy. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn
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