NATO Expert Talk Series | Emerging and disruptive technologies: Progress and challenges



9 December 2021



Technological advancements that are being exploited for military and security purposes present both new opportunities for militaries around the world, as well as new threats that can emanate from both state and non-state actors. Emerging and disruptive technologies (EDT) are also a key facet of the NATO 2030 initiative and an integral part of the discussions leading to NATO’s new Strategic Concept. The alliance has recently taken decisive steps to retain its technological edge by enabling investment in dual-use technologies of potential application to defence and security by creating the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). The Innovation Fund’s aim is to support the development of a protected transatlantic innovation community.

This talk discussed NATO’s approach to EDT in the context of both risks and opportunities for NATO and allies, the ongoing work with public and private sector partners, academia and civil society in this domain, as well as the areas where partner states such as Australia can cooperate on these matters.

NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges Mr David van Weel was the special guest. He spoke with the United States Studies Centre's Senior Lecturer in US Politics and Foreign Policy Dr Gorana Grgic.

Jointly presented by the United States Studies Centre (USSC) and NATO Public Diplomacy Division; this event is part of a series of talks with USSC and NATO experts in which they explore the challenges ahead of NATO and Australia and propose areas where furthering and deepening cooperation can offer solutions.


  • David van Weel
    David van Weel
    Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO

    David van Weel is NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. He is the Secretary General’s primary advisor on emerging security challenges and their implications for the security of the Alliance and a member of the Secretary General’s senior management team. Prior to joining NATO, David van Weel was the Foreign Policy and Defense Advisor for the Prime Minister of The Netherlands (2016-2020)

  • Dr Gorana Grgic
    Dr Gorana Grgic
    Senior Lecturer in US Politics and Foreign Policy, United States Studies Centre (jointly appointed with the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney)

    Dr Gorana Grgic is a jointly appointed Senior Lecturer at the Department of Government and International Relations and the United States Studies Centre. Her research interests include US politics and foreign policy, transatlantic relations, conflict resolution and democratisation. She is the author of Ethnic Conflict in Asymmetric Federations (Routledge 2017).

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