iCET – India-U.S. Collaboration in Emerging Technologies
As the interim budget for the financial year 2024-25 was rolled out on February 01, President of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) Atul Keshap lauded US and India governments for their focus on iCET sectors and budget.
GS-02 (Government policies and interventions)
Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), OpenRAN network technology, Artificial Intelligence, semiconductors
- Overview: Launched in January 2023, the India-U.S. Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) initiative was announced in May 2022. Jointly overseen by the National Security Councils of both nations, iCET signifies a significant collaboration between India and the U.S.
- Initiative’s Scope: Within iCET, six key areas of cooperation have been identified. These areas encompass co-development and co-production, with a phased expansion plan covering QUAD, NATO, Europe, and eventually, the global stage. A pivotal aspect of iCET is India’s willingness to share its core technologies with the U.S., reciprocated by Washington.
- Focus Areas: The initiative concentrates on fostering collaboration in critical and emerging technology domains, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum computing, semiconductors, and wireless telecommunication.
- Specific focus areas include AI research agency partnership, defense industrial and technological cooperation, innovation ecosystems, semiconductor ecosystem development, cooperation on human spaceflight, and advancements in 5G and 6G technologies, along with the adoption of OpenRAN network technology in India.
- Achievements: Key milestones achieved under iCET encompass the establishment of the Quantum Coordination Mechanism, public-private dialogues on telecommunication, substantial exchanges on AI and space, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishing a semiconductor supply chain, and the formulation of a roadmap for defense industrial cooperation.
- Progress includes nearing finalization of a significant jet engine deal and the imminent launch of the India-U.S. Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X).
- Additionally, a Strategic Trade Dialogue has been instituted to address regulatory barriers and review export control norms, emphasizing the strategic significance of the iCET initiative.
OpenRAN Network Technology:
- OpenRAN Network Technology represents a non-proprietary iteration of the Radio Access Network (RAN) system, a crucial element in wireless telecommunications systems responsible for linking individual devices to broader network segments through radio links.
- The distinctive feature of OpenRAN lies in its facilitation of interoperability among cellular network equipment sourced from various vendors. Embracing an open and flexible RAN architecture, OpenRAN operates on open interfaces and virtualization, adhering to industry-wide standards.
- This approach not only leads to cost reduction but also stimulates increased competition and fosters faster innovation.
- The applications of OpenRAN extend to supporting advanced networks like 5G and anticipated 6G, enhancing overall network performance and security, enabling novel services and capabilities, and contributing to bridging the digital divide.
- The adoption of OpenRAN emerges as a transformative force in the realm of telecommunications, fostering a more collaborative and innovative landscape.