INDUS-X launch: India, US focus on co-developing technology

New Delhi: The government has called for co-development and co-production of advanced technologies by Indian and American startups as the India-United States Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) was launched at an event in Washington, the defence ministry said on Thursday.

At the launch of INDUS-X, Joint Secretary (Defence Industries Promotion) Anurag Bajpai asked the participants to develop mechanisms for future collaborations across industries, academia and investors. He also gave an overview of the “Make in India” initiative, focussing on “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) and the philosophy of “Make in India, for the world”, the ministry said in a statement.

Bajpai led the Indian delegation at the two-day INDUS-X event that was co-organised by Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defence (DoD), and hosted by the US-India Business Council (USIBC) on June 20-21.

A reception for Indian and US government representatives, defence startups, think-tanks, incubators, investors, industries and other stakeholders was organised on June 20. Eric Garcetti, the US Ambassador to India, delivered the keynote address.

US Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall delivered the opening keynote address at the event on June 21 and said the India-US relationship is growing exponentially. He emphasised that there is enormous potential for startups in both countries to collaborate in deeptech innovations, especially in the space and artificial intelligence (AI) domains.

The event also saw a first-of-its-kind joint showcasing of innovative technologies by Indian and American startups. Fifteen Indian and 10 US startups from multiple domains such as maritime, AI, autonomous systems and space showcased their technologies to Indian and US stakeholders.

The exhibition was visited by senior US officials, including Congressman Ro Khanna, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies and Information Systems (CITI) and as the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans, and by Radha Iyengar Plumb, Deputy Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, US DoD.

Two panel discussions and two roundtables were held, focussing on deepening collaborations across various domains, including government, academia and industry, especially startups. Discussions on export control regulations were also held.

An INDUS-X factsheet was released at the event.

According to the US Chamber of Commerce, INDUS-X has the potential to be a catalyst for India to achieve its target of USD 5 billion in defence exports by 2025 and diversify its defence supply chain.

INDUS-X aims to pave the way towards the goals established in the US-India roadmap for defence industrial cooperation, capitalise on the tech-releasability outcomes that the industry anticipates from the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), explore joint opportunities in high-tech defence innovation, research and development, and strengthen bilateral trade relationships and defence establishment linkages.

It will also enhance connectivity between American and Indian defence startups to encourage greater collaboration in defence technology.