Ten U.S. & Indian Companies Collaborate on Undersea Communications and Maritime ISR Technologies at INDUS-X Summit

Future INDUS-X Plans: Space ISR challenges, academic partnerships, testing access, global collaborations, advisory engagement, and continued innovation.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 04:37 AM, February 22, 2024
  • 553
Ten U.S. & Indian Companies Collaborate on Undersea Communications and Maritime ISR Technologies at INDUS-X Summit

The second India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) Summit in New Delhi saw the announcement of over $1 million in funding for ten U.S. and Indian companies, dedicated to developing technologies in undersea communications and maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).

Jointly organized by the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and the Society of Indian Defense Manufacturers (SIDM), the summit brought together officials from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD). The objective was to explore collaboration opportunities in defense innovation.

Key discussions during the summit revolved around co-producing military capabilities, building resilient defense supply chains, and enhancing U.S.-India military interoperability. Panel participants expanded on various themes related to defense industrial partnerships, private capital mobilization for defense technologies, and commercialization of dual-use technologies.

The INDUS-X initiative, launched in June 2023, focuses on facilitating partnerships among U.S. and Indian defense companies, investors, and universities. Challenges announced at the summit, facilitated by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and Innovations for Defense Excellence (iDEX), aimed to identify technology solutions addressing warfighter challenges. The ten selected companies will receive funding to develop technologies in the specified domains.

Additionally, the summit highlighted the formation of a consortium committed to expanding testing facility access for defense and dual-use companies within the INDUS-X network. The consortium, featuring U.S. companies, universities, and nonprofit organizations, will explore pathways for testing, refining, and integrating technologies at premier testing ranges across both countries.

Advisory bodies under INDUS-X, including the bilateral Senior Advisory Group and the INDUS-X Senior Leaders Forum, provided guidance on future cooperation during the summit. They engaged leaders from the private sector and academia.

The INDUS-X initiative has achieved milestones since its launch, including joint challenges, an education series, industry and academia workshops, and investor strategy sessions. Future initiatives include joint challenges focused on space-based ISR, academic partnerships, testing range access, and industrial collaborations.

In June 2023, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) launched INDUS-X under the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), advancing the commitment to build a defense innovation bridge between the two countries.

Since then, INDUS-X has facilitated collaboration among U.S. and Indian government officials, defense companies, investors, accelerators, and universities to accelerate defense technology innovation in both countries. Key achievements include coordinating joint challenges between the U.S. DoD’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) and Indian MoD’s Innovations for Defense Excellence (iDEX), resulting in funding for technologies in maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The INDUS-X Gurukul, or Education Series, was launched in November 2023, providing a hybrid information series for U.S. and Indian defense start-ups, covering topics like private capital, export controls, and industrial partnerships. Workshops organized by FedTech, IIT Hyderabad, and others provided guidance for defense start-ups on navigating U.S. and Indian defense establishments. Academic workshops focused on technology transfer, licensing, and research in emerging defense technology domains.

USISPF and IndUS Tech Council hosted an investor strategy session in November 2023 to secure joint innovation funding for critical defense technologies in both countries.

At the 2024 INDUS-X Summit, stakeholders discussed future initiatives, including plans for two joint challenges focused on space-based ISR. Workshops under INDUS-X by Penn State University and AUTM Foundation aim to strengthen technology transfer from academia to start-ups.

The INDUSWERX consortium, involving various organizations, will explore pathways to enhance testing facility access for defense and dual-use companies. Collaborations between U.S. and Indian companies, such as Skydio and Aeroarc, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., and Liquid Robotics, aim to advance defense capabilities and support global demand.

Advisory forums, including the INDUS-X Senior Leaders Forum (SLF) and a Senior Advisory Group (SAG), actively engage stakeholders and guide government efforts to advance INDUS-X initiatives. The INDUS-X initiative continues to expand opportunities for defense innovation between the U.S. and India.