Building Bridges, Strengthening Ties: Our first Resilience Tech Evening

Project A together with Atlantik Brücke hosted the first Reslience Tech Evening at Fotografiska in Berlin to help foster the resilience ecosystem in Europe.

The concept of resilience has never been more important for Europe in a time of profound geopolitical crises and technological advances. But what does resilience actually mean, and how can it be defined? It is clear that any concept of resilience must go beyond traditional defense mechanisms. It must include economic stability, technological sovereignty, as well as societal adaptability. This comprehensive view of resilience is essential not only to maintain peace and prosperity, but also to ensure Europe’s ability to innovate and thrive in the face of global challenges.

This was the topic of our first Resilience Tech Evening, organized by Project A Ventures and Atlantik Brücke e.V.

Europe is in a unique position to play a leading role in the development and application of resilient technologies. However, to fully realize this potential and secure its position on the global stage, Europe must overcome existing barriers to commercialization and foster a more unified and supportive innovation ecosystem.

The main goal of the evening was to bring together all the key players in the resilience ecosystem. Representatives from large corporations and established defense companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Diehl, Rheinmetall,  Siemens and Thyssenkrupp joined us that night together with early and late stage investors, emerging tech startups in the space, and relevant stakeholders from the media as well as the political, scientific and military communities.

To start the evening, Uwe Horstmann, General Partner at Project A Ventures, and Julia Friedlander, Managing Director of Atlantik Brücke, welcomed all guests and introduced the concept of resilience and its urgency in the current geopolitical climate.

The general consensus was: Whether in defense or in digital and technological sovereignty, Europe needs to invest more in its resilience. Uwe explained how Project A, as one of the leading early stage tech investors in Europe, is investing in three key areas of resilience.

Lieutenant General Jürgen-Joachim von Sandrart, Commander of NATO’s Multinational Corps Northeast, gave the opening speech. He gave an impressive insight into what it takes to defend NATO’s most important border in the Baltic States and Poland. He showed that it takes not only military but also societal resilience to defend democratic values.

In a panel discussion, Sven Weizenegger (Bundeswehr Cyber Innovation Hub ), Sven Kruck (Quantum-Systems GmbH) and Gabi Dreo Rodosek (Universität der Bundeswehr München) discussed key learnings from the war in Ukraine with Bloomberg News‘ Agatha Cantrill. The panel discussed how policymakers and industry need to work together to enable more innovation in a traditional sector and to build new capabilities that previously had to be bought overseas.

In a fireside chat, Uwe Horstmann, Andrea Traversone (NATO Innovation Fund (NIF)Nicholas N. (MD One Ventures) and Nicole Büttner (Merantix Momentum) shed light on the financial side of DefenseTech. They talked about the challenges startups in this space face when it comes to raising capital and how to change that. Before the war in Ukraine, there was basically no funding for defense tech in Europe, Nelson said. Commenting on what needs to change, Traversone added that “if you crack procurement, you crack capital.”

Clark Price, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Berlin, gave the closing remarks. He reminded us how the transatlantic relationship has made Europe more resilient and emphasized the achievements that have been made in the last two years.

At the end of an insightful evening, Project A is committed to supporting the growth of the resilience ecosystem in Europe with more knowledge-sharing events of this kind.

Photos by Ania Berak