Leaders from Govt, academia, industry & startups joined to explore defence innovation collaborations / (Image-Twitter/India_iDEX)
A bilateral India-U.S.collaborative workshop called Indus-X (India-United States Defence Acceleration Ecosystem) was recently convnened by IIT Kanpur, Pennsylvania State University, Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX), the Ministry of Defence, India; and the US Department of Defence (DoD), and supported by the US-India Business Council (USIBC).
The inaugural workshop provided a concrete platform for enhancing defense collaboration, bringing forth common challenges, and facilitating mentorship programs. Through the workshop, participants from both sides came together for defense innovation to improve defense excellence, foster collaboration, and address sector needs.
Prof. Abhay Karandikar, director, IIT Kanpur, and prof. Ankush Sharma, professor-in-charge, Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur, highlighted the importance of the INDUS-X initiative while their US counterparts, including Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, president of Penn State University and co-chair of AAU India-US Task Force; and Dr. Barbara R. Snyder, president of the Association of American Universities, offered initial remarks on the potential outcomes of INDUS-X.
Indus-X highlighted the contributions of academia and startups to the defense sector. Distinguished representatives from nationally significant academic institutes discussed the potential outcomes of collaborations such as the workshop. Several issues were raised during the event, including the lack of bilateral collaboration to translate research, challenges in promoting defense technologies, and the need for reciprocal training programs to connect academic innovations with practical implementations, a IIT Kanpur news release stated.
Bendapudi emphasized the importance of the workshop for defense research, the role of higher education in nation-building and innovation, and the partnership between the two democracies. Karandikar described the workshop as a watershed moment in sparking innovation and breaking down barriers to strengthen global security. According to him, INDUS-X exemplifies the power of collective vision and action in shaping a future where security knows no bounds.
Indus-X was launched in Washington D.C., on June 21, 2023. The United States Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, had delivered the keynote address at the launch event. Panel discussions, roundtables, and a first-of-its-kind joint showcasing of innovative technologies by startups in India and the United States from multiple domains of maritime, AI, autonomous systems, and space showcased their technologies from stakeholders from both countries.