india: Inaugural iCET dialogue will accelerate US' strategic technology partnership with India: US NSA Sullivan
The Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) will accelerate America’s technology partnership and strategic convergence and policy alignment with India, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said ahead of the inaugural high-level dialogue between the two countries. Sullivan and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are scheduled to meet at the White House on Tuesday along with their respective high-powered delegations for the inaugural iCET dialogue.

Announced during US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bilateral talks in Tokyo in May last year, the iCET is spearheaded by the National Security Councils of both countries.

It focuses on strengthening the US-India partnership on the technologies that will drive global growth, bolster both countries’ economic competitiveness, and protect shared national security interests.

“iCET is about much more than technology cooperation, it’s a platform to accelerate our strategic convergence and policy alignment,” Sullivan said on Monday at a high-level round table organised by US India Business Council (USIBC) of the US Chambers of Commerce, which was also attended by his Indian counterpart National Security Advisor Doval.

During the round table, attended among others by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Sullivan highlighted the work ahead for both governments.

He said the US and Indian governments want to establish a “list of firsts”, “firsts in removing barriers-on both sides-to enable greater ambition by all of you.”

“Secretary of Commerce @GinaRaimondo and NSAs Ajit Doval and Jake Sullivan @JakeSullivan46 met reps from industry, academia & thought leaders at RoundTable on Critical and Emerging Technologies hosted by USIBC @USChamber. Detailed disc.on building a India-US trusted partner ecosystem,” Indian embassy in the US tweeted. Sullivan highlighted how iCET will accelerate the US’ strategic technology partnership with India and advance the two countries’ shared democratic values. He also recognised the pivotal role that businesses, educators, and investors play and urged the attendees to be ambitious in deepening bilateral business and academic ties.

He asserted that he would work with Doval to remove barriers on both sides.

Doval highlighted the need to conver intentions and ideas into actions and specific deliverables through focused steps in a time bound manner.

In their remarks, Doval and India’s Ambassador to India Taranjit Singh Sandhu highlighted India’s remarkable capacity for technology development and absorption, and emphasised India’s use of technology not only as an enabler of economic growth but as an instrument of social inclusion.

Both Doval and Sandhu commended the launch of the iCET, given the natural complementary strengths of the Indian and American economies and the growing strategic convergence between the two countries.

They also emphasised India’s growing role as a trusted supply chain partner and contributor in the global technology value chain.

They underlined the importance of easing export control measures to facilitate technology access, co-production, and co-development between India and the US, according to a USIBC statement.

Raimondo, in her remarks, highlight the central role the US and India would play in shaping the development of advanced technologies.

Hosted by US Chamber of Commerce, the roundtable had participation from industry executives across the spectrum of advanced technologies, including semiconductor design and manufacturing, commercial electronics, advanced telecommunications, commercial space, aerospace and defence, and information technology services.

Leadership from academia and venture capital firms also participated.

Welcoming the delegates, USIBC president Atul Keshap said that the US and India are not only Quad partners, but members of a high-trust ecosystem underpinned by converging interests and shared values.

“The iCET is a tremendous forum for our two democracies to coordinate on sustaining a free, open, and secure global economy that can ensure the future happiness of humanity,” he said.

Both the governments convening the iCET with such a strong industry presence at the US Chamber of Commerce demonstrates their recognition that business plays an essential role in bolstering the security and prosperity of both nations, Keshap said.

According to USIBC, roundtable participants discussed opportunities to promote development of critical and emerging technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence, with a special focus on how to increase academic and government research exchanges and strengthen their linkages with the private sector.

A key theme throughout the roundtable was how both governments could facilitate deeper alignment on technology issues, including encouraging semiconductor supply chain resilience, deepening the two countries’ research and development collaboration, strengthening workforce and education connectivity, and promoting co-investment and co-development, the statement said.

“It is promising to see the US and India prioritise the necessary discussions and investments that will enable greater semiconductor leadership within and among partner economies,” said Sanjay Mehrotra, President and CEO of Micron Technology.

Rajan Mittal, vice chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises, remarked on the success of the iCET in progressing conversations around 5G.

“iCET successfully deliberated on the deployment of Open RAN technology for 5G to create trusted sources, trusted networks, and trusted partners,” he said.

“The potential is limitless for both India and the US to come together to create a semiconductor highway to serve the world. This is a real possibility of a win-win-all that is needed is some imagination and a bold political will and we have both of that today,” said Vinayak Dalmia, who is part of the India’s business delegation.

Edward Knight, executive vice chairman of NASDAQ, and Chair of the USIBC Global Board of Directors, said the US and India pursuing this initiative on critical and emerging technologies demonstrates their growing alignment and sends signals of confidence to the investment community.

Other discussion topics included defence and space technology. Roundtable participants underlined the importance of greater cooperation between government, industry, and academia to build a stronger innovation ecosystem that supports American and Indian competitiveness in both traditional and novel defense domains, the statement said.

Participants also discussed the critical value that startups and VCs play in accelerating innovation and the commercialisation of new technologies, it said.

Industry representatives noted that shared resolve to facilitate the movement of high skilled workers and scientific personnel, as well as to ease export control measures and protect intellectual property frameworks, would be key to further developing the US-India innovation ecosystem, it added.


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