Strengthening bilateral technological cooperation: Indian Prime Minister discusses joint projects in US visit
Leaders have pledged to enhance their partnership by collaborating on technology initiatives and investments, including AI, quantum computing, semiconductors, and telecommunications.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently undertaking a significant state visit to the United States, where he has engaged in official discussions with President Joe Biden and influential business leaders.
The visit holds significance as the US aims to diversify its engagement away from China and adopt a ‘friend-shoring strategy’ by collaborating with regional countries. During the visit, the leaders unveiled collaboration initiatives and investment projects in critical and emerging technologies such as AI, quantum computing, semiconductors, and telecommunications under the US-India Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) initiative. They stressed the importance of technology in strengthening the partnership and expressed their commitment to fostering an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem based on mutual confidence, trust, and shared values. Both leaders also pledged to promote policies and regulations that facilitate technology sharing, co-development, and co-production opportunities between US and Indian industries, governments, and academic institutions.
Image source: Narendra Modi YouTube channel
AI and quantum technologies
Both parties have pledged to strengthen their collaboration and investment in joint research initiatives encompassing quantum, AI, and advanced wireless technologies. This commitment builds upon the existing U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund’s $2 million grant, which aims to facilitate the joint development and commercialisation of Artificial Intelligence and quantum technologies.
In a move to strengthen semiconductor supply chains, Micron Technology, Inc. is set to invest more than $800 million, supported by the India Semiconductor Mission, in a new semiconductor assembly and test facility in India. This investment is part of a larger $2.75 billion project. Additionally, Applied Materials plans to invest $400 million in creating a Semiconductor Centre for Commercialization and Innovation in India, which will contribute to diversifying and improving the semiconductor supply chain between the two countries. In support of India’s semiconductor education and workforce development goals, Lam Research will train 60,000 Indian engineers through its ‘Semiverse Solution’ program.
Cutting-edge research and collaborations
The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST) have established 35 pioneering joint research collaborations in emerging technologies. These collaborations aim to secure funding for joint research initiatives in computer and information science and engineering, cyber-physical systems, and secure and reliable cyberspace. Furthermore, the NSF and India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will offer new funding opportunities for joint projects in various applied research areas, such as semiconductors, next-generation communication, cybersecurity, sustainability and green technologies, and intelligent transportation systems.
Furthermore, parties have initiated a university network called the Indo-U.S. Global Challenge Institutes to promote research collaborations in agriculture, energy, health, and technology. This collaboration aims to leverage the talent and ambition of both countries.
India and the United States have established public-private Joint Task Forces to develop and deploy Open RAN systems and advance telecom research. The Bharat 6G initiative and the U.S. Next G Alliance will lead this collaborative research, aiming to enhance network security, resilience, and cost-effectiveness. Both countries will launch Open RAN deployments to demonstrate the scalability and competitiveness of this technology in global markets.
The US and Indian space agencies are working on a strategic framework for human space flight cooperation and planning a joint mission to the International Space Station in 2024. India will also participate in the Artemis Accords, a US-led initiative to return humans to the moon. Additionally, India has approved a $318 million investment to construct a Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, which will collaborate with similar facilities worldwide to study gravitational waves and explore the origins of the universe.