India-US Defense Investors Draw up Plans Ahead of 2+2 Ministers’ Meet
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – The India-US Defense Acceleration Ecosystem Investors Meet held its first meeting here on November 8 as a precursor to the forthcoming visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for the 2+2 India-US Ministerial Dialogue here this week.
The meeting was organized by Innovations for Defense Excellence under the Department of Defense Production, Ministry of Defense and US Department of Defense.
Blinken and Austin will hold talks with India on November 10 with India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and defense minister Rajnath Singh as part of the “2+2 Dialogue”, launched in 2018 to strengthen defense cooperation.
The two countries are working on deals for the US to supply and manufacture engines for Indian fighter jets, MQ-9 predator drones and semiconductor manufacturing, according to sources.
Doug Beck, Director Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), US department of defense led the US delegation and Vivek Virmani, COO/iDEX-DIO the Indian delegation.
The interactive meet brought all the stakeholders viz Startups/MSMEs, Investors, Incubators, Industry from both sides under one roof to discuss the collaborative agendas and opportunities, the Defense Ministry said.
The panel held discussions on ‘Investment Opportunities in the Defense Sector’, elaborating upon establishing a sustainable commercial foundation for defense collaboration and co-production.
In the Investor-Start-up Connect session, leading Indian and US investors, VCs and defense start-ups offered their insights regarding their plans for the defense sector and the expectations from each other.
Select Indian and US startups also presented their profile and innovations at the meeting.
Beck appreciated the brainstorming session on setting up a Joint Innovation Fund besides the panel discussions on critical issues.
He expressed satisfaction with the response to the joint IMPACT challenges and was confident that the Gurukul Educational Series would help the startups in navigating in the defense eco-systems of India and the US.
Virmani added that the path breaking Investor connect event would lead to increased collaboration in the field of defense innovation.