The Gold Badge was conferred upon Sille Pettai for her contribution to national defense, helping Estonia participate in creating the NATO Innovation Fund initiated by 22 member countries. “Each awardee has made a significant brushstroke in the development of Estonia’s national defense over the past year. Deep bow and thanks to everyone for this. Both to those who do it professionally and especially to those who do it voluntarily, assisting countries like Ukraine and Ukrainians on the path to victory,” stated Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur during the award ceremony.
According to Sille Pettai, a member of the SmartCap management board and fund manager, the recognition received is a salute to the entire SmartCap team. “Without a strong background and team, significant achievements are not possible. The creation of the NIF is highly meaningful from the perspective of SmartCap’s activities. Today in Estonia we have many successful and innovative technology companies, an outstanding business environment, and a strong defence policy and national defence system. With the fund, we can build a bridge and create a functional ecosystem for technology companies operating in the defense sector,” said Pettai.
In the spring of this year, the Estonian government, through the national fund manager SmartCap, decided to invest 30 million euros in the NATO’s 1 billion euro Innovation Fund. The goal of the investment is to generate and finance new companies developing dual-use, civilian and military, deep technologies.
Sille Pettai has led the creation and development of the fund on behalf of SmartCap. The recently established NIF is set to commence its investment activities in 2024, and at the beginning of the new year, an event introducing funding opportunities is planned for local market participants, including companies and venture capital funds.
Photo credit: Mihkel Leis