Washington, DC – The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) joined forces today in the first investor strategy session of the India-U.S. Defense Acceleration Ecosystem, or INDUS-X. This session, held in New Delhi, coincided with the fifth U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, led by Secretary Austin, Secretary Blinken, and their counterparts. The event was organized by the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and IndUS Tech Council, with the primary goal of facilitating collaboration between the private sectors of both countries and mobilizing capital for defense innovation.
The key highlight of the session was the address by Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Director and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense, Douglas A. Beck, who, alongside Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) Chief Operating Officer Vivek Virmani of the Indian MoD, engaged with investors and start-ups to discuss the importance of private capital in driving defense innovation. The ultimate aim of these efforts is to equip the armed forces of both nations with cutting-edge capabilities, particularly in the context of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific.
INDUS-X, launched in June, represents a significant step in strengthening the ties between the defense industrial ecosystems of the United States and India. It aims to make these ecosystems more innovative, accessible, and resilient by fostering partnerships between businesses, investors, and academic institutions from both countries. This initiative builds on a commitment made by the U.S. and Indian National Security Advisors in January 2023 to establish an “Innovation Bridge,” connecting defense start-ups from both countries. This initiative is part of the broader U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET).
During the investor session, DIU and iDEX also revealed the launch of the INDUS-X Gurukul Education Series, a monthly event where government officials and private sector leaders will engage with U.S. and Indian start-ups. These discussions will cover topics related to business and technology development, regulatory regimes, and investor pitches. The Education Series will serve to inform start-ups about new programs and opportunities available through INDUS-X and will align with priorities established by both governments. It will also address areas of interest outlined in the iCET agenda and the INDUS-X Fact Sheet.
This investor session marks another step forward in the ongoing collaboration between DIU and iDEX, who recently opened applications for joint challenges. These challenges aim to enable start-ups in both countries to develop technological solutions for shared defense challenges. Aligned with the Roadmap for U.S.-India Defense Industrial Cooperation, the challenges will culminate in financial awards for the most promising technology, along with potential procurement opportunities, further solidifying the strong defense partnership between the United States and India.