A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “Enhancing Innovation Ecosystems through an Innovation Handshake” under the framework of India – U.S. Commercial Dialogue was signed between the two countries on the 14th of November 2023 in San Francisco. The leaders’ Joint Statement during the historic official State Visit of Prime Minister in June 2023 announced the establishment of the “Innovation Handshake”.
The MoU was signed at the kick-off industry roundtable titled, “Decoding the “Innovation Handshake”: U.S. – India Entrepreneurship Partnership” in San Francisco. At the event, co-hosted by the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and supported by National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) and Startup India, CEOs from major ICT companies, executives from venture capital firms, and founders of startups in the critical and emerging technology space discussed how to enhance U.S.-India technology collaboration.
The MoU is signed with the objective to connect the two sides’ dynamic startup ecosystems, address specific regulatory hurdles to cooperation, share information and best practices for startup fundraising and promote innovation and job growth, particularly in critical and emerging technologies (CET) as identified under India -U.S. initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET).
The MoU signals a joint commitment to strengthen the startup ecosystem in deep tech sectors and promote cooperation in Critical and Emerging Technologies (CET). It is poised to positively impact economic activity, attract investment, and generate employment, especially in start-ups working in CET areas. The scope of cooperation would include a series of India- U.S. Innovation Handshake events, including hackathon and “Open Innovation” programs, information sharing and other activities.
The announcement laid the groundwork for two future Innovation Handshake events scheduled to take place in India and the United States in early 2024, which include an investment forum aimed toward helping U.S. and Indian startup companies take their innovative ideas and products to market and a “hackathon” in Silicon Valley where U.S. and Indian startups will pitch ideas and technologies to help address global economic challenges.
This momentous step signifies the commitment of both nations towards fostering innovation, creating opportunities, and promoting mutual growth in the dynamic field of emerging technologies. The “Innovation Handshake” sets the stage for a new era of collaboration between the United States and India.
The Commercial Dialogue (CD) is a cooperative undertaking at Ministerial level between India and the U.S. to facilitate regular discussion to deepen ties between business communities, encompassing regular government-to-government meetings to be held in conjunction with private sector meetings, with an aim to facilitate trade, and maximize investment opportunities across a broad range of economic sectors.
The 5th India-U.S. Commercial Dialogue was held on 10th March 2023 during the visit of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo between 8-10 March. At the meeting the Commercial Dialogue was re-launched with strategic focus on supply chain resiliency, climate and clean technology cooperation, advancing inclusive digital economy, and facilitating post-pandemic economic recovery especially for SMEs and startups.
It included launch of a new Working Group on Talent, Innovation and Inclusive Growth (TIIG) under the Commercial Dialogue. It was noted that this Working Group would also support efforts of Startups working towards goals of iCET, particularly in identifying specific regulatory hurdles to cooperation and fostering greater connectivity between our innovation ecosystems with focus on start-ups through specific ideas for joint activities.