Washington: US President Joe Biden saw the US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) as an “incredibly important initiative”, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, adding that this initiative is not just about China.
In the press briefing, Pierre said, “The President believes this initiative that you just laid out is key for the US and India to create a democratic technology ecosystem and reinforces our democratic values and our democratic institutions. So, we see this as an incredibly important initiative and a partnership that we have with India.”
She further stated that US and India are cooperating in defensive innovations, like conductors, space, 5G, and talent and they are also looking forward to building on this momentum in the upcoming months and years.
Responding to a query on whether this initiative was about countering China, Pierre said, “We cannot ignore the geopolitics context that we live in, as you asked me about China, but this initiative is not about one any country or one country. It truly is about something bigger than that a relationship between two friends, two countries who have been partners for some time. So, look, as two of the world’s leading economies and democracies. It is in our interest to strengthen this partnership and deliver for our people and when you think about the economies and the people around the world, so we think this is an important step forward and we’ll continue to grow on this innovation initiative.”
The iCET was announced in May 2022 to elevate and expand the strategic technology partnership and defence industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of the two countries, as per the statement.
“The United States and India affirm that the ways in which technology is designed, developed, governed, and used should be shaped by our shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights. We are committed to fostering an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem, based on mutual trust and confidence, that will reinforce our democratic values and democratic institutions,” added the statement released by the White House.
It further stated that the two sides discussed opportunities for greater cooperation in critical and emerging technologies, co-development and coproduction, and ways to deepen connectivity across our innovation ecosystems. They noted the value of establishing ‘innovation bridges’ in key sectors, including through expos, hackathons, and pitch sessions. They also identified the fields of biotechnology, advanced materials, and rare earth processing technology as areas for future cooperation.
“The United States and India underlined their commitment to working to resolve issues related to regulatory barriers and business and talent mobility in both countries through a standing mechanism under iCET.
This followed the January 30 roundtable hosted by the U.S.-India Business Council with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and other senior U.S. and Indian officials and brought together more than 40 CEOs, university presidents, and thought leaders from both countries to accelerate opportunities for increased technology cooperation,” the statement read.
“To expand and deepen our technology partnership, the United States and India are launching new bilateral initiatives and welcoming new cooperation between our governments, industry, and academia in the following domains,” it added.