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India and US Strengthen Innovation Ties with Landmark Pact

India and the United States have taken a significant step to boost collaboration among startups and promote innovation through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on November 14 in San Francisco. This partnership, established under the framework of the India-US Commercial Dialogue, aims to enhance innovation ecosystems and address regulatory challenges in the startup landscape.

Key Signatories and Location:

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, currently in San Francisco, spearheaded the signing of the MoU during an industry roundtable meeting. The roundtable included participation from Indian industry leaders, CEOs of major ICT companies, venture capital executives, and startup founders in critical and emerging technology sectors.

Objectives of the MoU:

The MoU focuses on fostering collaboration between India and the US in the startup ecosystem, addressing regulatory obstacles, and sharing best practices for fundraising by entrepreneurs. The ultimate goal is to promote innovation and job growth, particularly in critical and emerging technologies (CET) as identified under the India-US initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET).

Scope of Cooperation:

The collaboration is set to encompass a series of India-US Innovation Handshake events. These events, scheduled for early 2024, include an investment forum aimed at helping startups from both countries bring their ideas and products to market. Additionally, a Silicon Valley hackathon is planned, where US and Indian startups will pitch ideas and technologies to address global economic challenges.

Impact and Benefits:

The MoU signals a joint commitment to strengthening the startup ecosystem, especially in deep tech sectors, and fostering cooperation in critical and emerging technologies. The collaboration is expected to positively impact economic activity, attract investment, and generate employment, particularly in startups working on CET.

Innovation Handshake Agenda:

Led by Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and Minister Piyush Goyal, the roundtable meeting officially launched the ambitious ‘Innovation Handshake’ agenda. This agenda, previewed by US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, aims to forge a critical tech partnership that will further strengthen the interconnected innovation ecosystems of both nations.

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