India and the United States (US) should institutionalize an annual dialogue between the National Security Advisers (NSAs) of the two countries to advance the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET). An advisory council should be established to focus on four A leading policy think tank has suggested creating an ICET fellowship to encourage research and connector funding to support ecosystems in both countries, in five areas of cooperation, and help build trust between the two countries. Create a two-way regulatory sandbox for
Days before India and US national security advisers Ajit Doval and Jack Sullivan meet for the first high-level ICET dialogue, Carnegie India-affiliated authors, who have been closely involved in discussions on the issue, has issued a paper. The proposals for both governments The paper focuses on three specific areas of cooperation – quantum, semiconductors, and commercial space.
HT first reported Duvall’s proposed visit to the US for a meeting on January 31.
In the paper by Rudra Chaudhary, Konark Bhandari, and Ashima Singh, the authors focus on management mechanisms, and practical ideas for advancing science and technology research and collaboration across the three disciplines.
This paper is based on extensive informal discussions the think tank has had with policy makers and representatives from industry and academia on the mechanism.
ICET is the result of an understanding between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden when they met in Tokyo on the sidelines of the Quad Leaders Summit in 2022.
In a statement, the Government of India then said: “Under the joint leadership of the National Security Council Secretariat in India and the US National Security Council, ICET will establish close links between the government, academia and industry of the two countries in areas such as AI, quantum Computing, 5G/6G, Biotech, Space and Semiconductors.
The piece begins with suggestions on a governance mechanism to move the mechanism forward – an annual “outcome-based” dialogue with a “clear sense of achievable action points” at the level of NSAs and the level of Deputy NSAs of both countries. Another dialogue on; An advisory or steering committee consisting of external experts and industry representatives meets approximately monthly. A monitoring mechanism at the level of Deputy Secretary at India’s NSCS and Director at the US NSC to record impact; ICET Track 1.5 Friends of the Dialogue Mechanism focuses on technology research and outreach who meet annually.
Key to all of these management expectations, the paper advises policymakers to “allocate four to five key areas of cooperation that will drive management efforts supporting iCET”.
With regard to research innovation and coordinating research initiatives, the think tank suggests that ICET impact officers “track different sets of projects on emerging technologies across different ministries and agencies”.
It also proposes an ICET research and connector fund and a regulatory sandbox.
Explaining its reasoning, the paper states, “There is a clear sense that there is a need to better understand the regulatory architecture in the two countries in different technology domains… a bilateral regulatory sandbox—key stakeholders. Testing regulations in a controlled environment with .will be important to build confidence and help coordinate incentive schemes between the two countries.
And in terms of specific areas of cooperation, the think tank offers ideas in three areas.
The first is quantum technology, which requires strong collaboration between academia and industry. Greater Indian investment in hardware capabilities; Research centers such as IIT-Madras are joining the IBM Quantum Computing Network to access industry expertise. And Indian and American universities are working on domain sharing curricula.
The second is semiconductor where the paper points to the need for development of both sub-industries that do not focus on fabs, and suggests a common roadmap for the semiconductor industries.
“Synchronization of investment policy/incentive scheme for chips between Washington and New Delhi could be an excellent starting point to enable a partnership of friendship.”
To tap into Indian talent, the paper says, New Delhi needs to build trust as a supplier in the global supply chain and “emphasise quality control, verification measures, and transparency in manufacturing processes”. .
It also points to the need for trade-offs as both domestic demand and export-led models will be critical for India’s semiconductor projects to come to fruition.
And the third area is the commercial space where it shows that globally, countries are waking up to the fact that having space capabilities will be key to maintaining dominance, and domestically, India’s space sector has seen commercial activity. In terms of areas of cooperation, it suggests government-to-business and business-to-business partnerships in the commercial space.
“One such area could be space situational awareness, which primarily requires keeping space objects in orbit. Given that the United States has long been a supporter of the sustainability of space activities, this cooperation would be a good starting point, as there are few Indian companies that have developed strong capabilities in this sector.
It also discusses the need to reduce export control measures by the US and suggests possible funding mechanisms that can be used to invest in Indian companies.
Setting ambitious goals, it said, “India can hopefully build commercial space cooperation with the US similar to Washington’s with Tokyo.”