US, India raise strategic partnership under iCET, launch initiatives to expand technology partnership

To elevate and expand the strategic technology partnership and defense industry collaboration between the governments, businesses and academia of the United States of America and India, the inaugural Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) Inaugural Meeting was hosted by the Business Council USA- India with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and other senior US and Indian officials. The two nations underscored their commitment to resolving regulatory barriers and the mobility of business and talent in both countries, launching new bilateral initiatives and welcoming new collaborations between our governments, industry and academia.

Innovation ecosystems

To build a robust innovation ecosystem, the two nations signed a new Research Agency Partnership Implementation Agreement between the National Science Foundation and Indian science agencies to expand international collaboration in various fields. This includes artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and advanced wireless connectivity. They are also setting up a joint Indo-US quantum coordination mechanism involving industry, academia and government to facilitate research and industrial collaboration. In addition, they also promote cooperation in the field of high-performance computing (HPC), including by working with Congress to reduce barriers to US exports to India of HPC technology and source code.

Semiconductor Supply Chains

Both India and the US are focusing on building a domestic supply chain for sustainable semiconductors. Nations enhance bilateral cooperation on sustainable semiconductor supply chains; helping develop an ecosystem for semiconductor design, fabrication and manufacturing in India; and leveraging complementary strengths, both parties intend to foster the development of a skilled workforce that will support global semiconductor supply chains and foster the development of joint ventures and technology partnerships on mature technology assemblies and packaging in India.

A working group will be formed between the US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) in partnership with the Indian Semiconductor Electronics Association (IESA) with the participation of the Government of India’s Semiconductor Mission to develop a ‘readiness assessment’ to identify near-term opportunities for industry and facilitating the longer-term strategic development of complementary semiconductor ecosystems. This task force will make recommendations to the Ministry of Commerce and the India Semiconductor Mission on the opportunities and challenges to be overcome to further strengthen India’s role in the global semiconductor value chain and will also provide input to the trade US-India dialogue. The task force will also identify and facilitate workforce development, research and development, advanced packaging and exchange opportunities for the benefit of both parties.

Defense Innovation and Technology Cooperation

The two nations are developing a new bilateral defense industrial cooperation roadmap to accelerate technological cooperation between the two countries for joint development and production, with an initial focus on research projects related to jet engines, munitions-related technologies and other systems. Noting that the United States had received an application from General Electric for the joint production of jet engines that could power aircraft operated and produced locally by India, the US committed to an expeditious review of this application.

They are also enhancing long-term research and development cooperation, with a focus on identifying operational use cases for maritime security and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). In addition, they are launching a new “Innovation Bridge” that will connect US and Indian defense startups.

Next generation telecommunications

The two nations are starting a public-private dialogue on telecommunications and regulations. They are also advancing 5G and 6G R&D collaboration, facilitating the deployment and adoption of Open RAN in India and promoting global economies of scale in the sector.


India and the US will enhance cooperation in human spaceflight, including establishing an exchange that will include advanced astronaut training from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)/Space Flight Division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. They will identify innovative approaches for the commercial sectors of both countries to cooperate, particularly in relation to activities related to NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) project. Within the next year, NASA, with ISRO, will bring together US CLPS companies and Indian aerospace companies to advance this initiative.

A new exchange of STEM talent was emulated by expanding the Professional Engineers and Scientists Exchange Program (PESEP) to include space science, Earth science and human spaceflight and extending a standing invitation to ISRO to participate in the biennial International NASA program management course

US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) in May 2022. Following the inaugural meeting in the US, the two nations will hold 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 engage with stakeholders to achieve ambitious goals before the next meeting.

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