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Business News/ News / World/  India, UK explore new partnership in critical strategic technologies
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India, UK explore new partnership in critical strategic technologies

New Delhi and London pushed the partnership on technology forward after science minister Jitendra Singh visited London in April.

The development comes on the back of intensifying competition over emerging technologies as nations race to develop key capabilities (iStockphoto)Premium
The development comes on the back of intensifying competition over emerging technologies as nations race to develop key capabilities (iStockphoto)

New Delhi: India and the UK are in talks to build a pathbreaking partnership designed to boost cooperation in critical strategic technologies, according to persons aware of the matter. The proposed partnership is expected to focus on semiconductors, telecommunications, critical minerals and other technologies with strategic implications.

The development comes on the back of intensifying competition over emerging technologies as nations race to develop key capabilities. Last year, India and the US set up the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) to build cooperation on key technologies like semiconductors, advanced materials, biotechnology and rare earth processing. iCET also aims to push the defence industrial ecosystems and universities in both countries to work with each other.

According to the persons cited above, India and the UK are considering a broad partnership that mirrors iCET by building cooperation on specific capabilities in strategic technology. The focus will also be on linking Indian firms with cutting-edge research facilities based in the UK focusing on 5G and other crucial technologies. Another key focus will be building pathways for greater mobility for research talent to move between the countries.

New Delhi and London pushed the partnership on technology forward after science minister Jitendra Singh visited London in April. Both sides signed an agreement aimed at deepening linkages between their scientific ecosystems besides providing funds for research into artificial intelligence, machine learning and bio-imaging.

India was named a partner of the UK’s International Science Partnerships Fund. Clean energy is a major priority for India and the UK. Both sides have established a university partnership on sustainable biofuels, decarbonising the pharmaceutical industry and manufacturing.

“The agreement will remove red tape standing in the way of major collaborations, while unleashing a raft of new joint research schemes aiming to deliver progress on some of the biggest issues facing the world, from climate change and pandemic preparedness through to AI and machine learning," a press release from the two countries said.

According to the persons cited above, semiconductors also featured in discussions between the countries during Singh’s visit to the UK. The focus in the coming months will be to boost cooperation on strategic technologies in the hope of building a broader partnership.

“The UK government is determined to work with partners across the globe, including India, in delivering world class science and research, and last month the UK and India signed a landmark agreement on science, research and innovation. We look forward to continuing to work closely with India on shared priorities, at the G20 Research Ministerial in Mumbai later this year," said the UK"s department of science, innovation and technology in response to a query from Mint.

India’s ministry of external affairs did not respond to a query by press time.

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Published: 08 May 2023, 11:24 PM IST
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