President Biden and Prime Minister Modi announced the U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) in May 2022 to elevate and expand our strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of our two countries.
The United States and India affirm that the ways in which technology is designed, developed, governed, and used should be shaped by our shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights. We are committed to fostering an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem, based on mutual trust and confidence, that will reinforce our democratic values and democratic institutions.
Today, the two National Security Advisors led the inaugural meeting of the iCET in Washington, DC. They were joined on the U.S. side by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, and senior officials from the Department of State, Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council. On the Indian side, the Ambassador of India to the United States, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, the Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications, the Scientific Advisor to the Defense Minister, the Director General of the Defence Research and Development Organization, and senior officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the National Security Council Secretariat participated. The two sides discussed opportunities for greater cooperation in critical and emerging technologies, co-development and coproduction, and ways to deepen connectivity across our innovation ecosystems. They noted the value of establishing “innovation bridges” in key sectors, including through expos, hackathons, and pitch sessions. They also identified the fields of biotechnology, advanced materials, and rare earth processing technology as areas for future cooperation.
The United States and India underlined their commitment to working to resolve issues related to regulatory barriers and business and talent mobility in both countries through a standing mechanism under iCET. This followed the January 30 roundtable hosted by the U.S.-India Business Council with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and other senior U.S. and Indian officials and brought together more than 40 CEOs, university presidents, and thought leaders from both countries to accelerate opportunities for increased technology cooperation.
To expand and deepen our technology partnership, the United States and India are launching new bilateral initiatives and welcoming new cooperation between our governments, industry and academia in the following domains:
Strengthening our Innovation Ecosystems
- Signing a new Implementation Arrangement for a Research Agency Partnership between the National Science Foundation and Indian science agencies to expand international collaboration in a range of areas — including artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and advanced wireless — to build a robust innovation ecosystem between our countries.
- Establishing a joint Indo-U.S. Quantum Coordination Mechanism with participation from industry, academia, and government to facilitate research and industry collaboration.
- Drawing from global efforts to develop common standards and benchmarks for trustworthy AI through coordinating on the development of consensus, multi-stakeholder standards, ensuring that these standards and benchmarks are aligned with democratic values.
- Promoting collaboration on High Performance Computing (HPC), including by working with Congress to lower barriers to U.S. exports to India of HPC technology and source code.
Defense Innovation and Technology Cooperation
- Developing a new bilateral Defense Industrial Cooperation Roadmap to accelerate technological cooperation between both countries for the joint development and production, with an initial focus on exploring projects related to jet engines, munition related technologies, and other systems.
- Noting the United States has received an application from General Electric to jointly produce jet engines that could power jet aircraft operated and produced indigenously by India. The United States commits to an expeditious review of this application.
- Enhancing long-term research and development cooperation, with a focus on identifying maritime security and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) operational use cases.
- Launching a new “Innovation Bridge” that will connect U.S. and Indian defense startups.
Resilient Semiconductor Supply Chains
- Enhancing bilateral collaboration on resilient semiconductor supply chains; supporting the development of a semiconductor design, manufacturing, and fabrication ecosystem in India; and leveraging complementary strengths, both countries intend to promote the development of a skilled workforce that will support global semiconductor supply chains and encourage the development of joint ventures and technology partnerships on mature technology nodes and packaging in India.
- Welcoming a task force organized by the U.S. Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) in partnership with the India Electronics Semiconductor Association (IESA) with participation from the Government of India Semiconductor Mission to develop a “readiness assessment” to identify near-term industry opportunities and facilitate longer-term strategic development of complementary semiconductor ecosystems.
- This task force will make recommendations to the Department of Commerce and the India Semiconductor Mission on opportunities and challenges to overcome in order to further strengthen India’s role within the global semiconductor value chain, and will also provide input to the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue. The task force will also identify and facilitate workforce development, R&D including with respect to advanced packaging, and exchange opportunities to benefit both countries.
- Strengthening cooperation on human spaceflight, including establishing exchanges that will include advanced training for an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)/Department of Space astronaut at NASA Johnson Space Center.
- Identifying innovative approaches for the commercial sectors of the two countries to collaborate, especially with respect to activities related to NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) project. Within the next year, NASA, with ISRO, will convene U.S. CLPS companies and Indian aerospace companies to advance this initiative.
- Initiating new STEM talent exchanges by expanding the Professional Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (PESEP) to include space science, Earth science, and human spaceflight and extending a standing invitation to ISRO to participate in NASA’s biannual International Program Management Course
- Strengthening the bilateral commercial space partnership, including through a new U.S. Department of Commerce and Indian Department of Space-led initiative under the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group. This initiative will foster U.S.-India commercial space engagement and enable growth and partnerships between U.S. and Indian commercial space sectors.
- Welcoming the visit this week by the ISRO Chairman to the United States, as well as a visit to India by the NASA Administrator later in 2023.
- Expanding the agenda of the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group to include planetary defense.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Talent:
- Noting a new joint task force of the Association of American Universities and leading Indian educational institutions, including Indian Institutes of Technology, which will make recommendations for research and university partnerships.
Next Generation Telecommunications:
- Launching a public-private dialogue on telecommunications and regulations.
- Advancing cooperation on research and development in 5G and 6G, facilitating deployment and adoption of Open RAN in India, and fostering global economies of scale within the sector.
The United States and India look forward to the next iCET meeting in New Delhi later in 2023. The National Security Councils of both countries will coordinate with their respective ministries, departments and agencies to work with their counterparts to advance cooperation, and to engage with stakeholders to deliver on ambitious objectives ahead of the next meeting.