India and Israel have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on industrial research and development cooperation that will focus on several key technology areas, including aerospace, electronics instrumentation, infrastructure and engineering, ecology, environment, and water. The MoU was signed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D), Ministry of Defense of the State of Israel.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, welcomed the signing of the agreement and expressed his optimism that it will usher in a new phase of deeper bilateral collaboration between India and Israel in the areas of innovation, technology, and startups.
According to Dr Jitendra Singh, 2023 is a significant year for India as the country holds the G20 presidency under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. It is also the year when India and Israel are celebrating 30 years of successful diplomatic relations. Dr Singh believes that the agreement will open up new opportunities for India-Israel partnership in areas such as healthcare, water, energy, transportation, space, and food security.
The minister further stated that the Indian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has been promoting science and technology developments and supporting start-up innovations by providing necessary policy and budgetary support to enable action at the ground level. Science and technology have always been an integral part of Indian culture, and Indian science is now regarded as one of the most powerful instruments of growth and development, especially in the emerging scenario and competitive economy.
India and Israel are not just bilateral partners but also play a larger role in addressing some of the greatest challenges facing the world. Through joint investments and new initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security sectors, the two countries are part of the “I2U2” group, which includes India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America.
The Head of DDR&D, Israeli Ministry of Defense, Brig. Gen. (Ret) Dr. Daniel Gold, said that India and Israel are good friends and have enormous potential to collaborate in high technology areas. The two countries already have bilateral consultation mechanisms in all cooperation fields, including water, agriculture, counter-terrorism, and defense. Defense has been a particular cooperation priority with Israel, and in November 2021, Defense R&D Organization (DRDO) and DDR&D inked a Bilateral Innovation Agreement (BIA) to promote innovation and accelerated R&D in startups and MSMEs of both countries for the development of dual-use technologies.
Dr. Jitendra Singh believes that it is essential to strengthen bilateral ties, particularly for technology development and implementation. He also expressed his happiness that joint activities have already begun in healthcare and that a way ahead has been made for other crucial areas like aerospace, quantum technologies, lasers, green hydrogen, instrumentation, and water. The minister concluded by congratulating DG, CSIR, and Head DDR&D for their efforts to strengthen the relationship.