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NEW DELHI : India and Israel on Tuesday signed a pact aimed at spurring innovation and speeding up the development of dual use technologies by small and medium sized firms in both countries.  

The pact was signed between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel’s Directorate of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D). 

The signatories of the pact were G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence, R&D and Chairman DRDO and Daniel Gold, Head of DDR&D, a statement from the Indian defence ministry said.  

The agreement – known as the Bilateral Innovation Agreement – will “promote innovation and accelerated R&D in startups and MSMEs of both countries for the development of dual use technologies." 

“Under the agreement, startups and industry of both countries will work together to bring out next generation technologies and products in the areas such as drones, robotics, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, photonics, biosensing, brain-machine interface, energy storage, wearable devices and natural language processing. Products and technologies will be customised to meet unique requirements of both the countries," the Indian statement said.  

“The development efforts will be jointly funded by DRDO and DDR&D, Israel. The technologies developed under BIA will be available to both countries for their domestic applications," it added. 

The signing of the pact comes after two high level visits to Israel from India recently. India’s foreign minister S Jaishankar had travelled to Israel as had India’s defence secretary Ajay Kumar.  

Ties between India and Israel have warmed steadily since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992. Bilateral trade between the two countries is around $ 5 billion annually. Defence trade is around $ 1 billion annually according to various estimates with India being a significant buyer of Israeli defence products. This however is not reflected in the regular trade figures.   

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