Israel and the U.S. have become India's top arms suppliers, with companies from these countries participating in the 'Make in India' initiative. These robust defence partnerships can be elevated, by inserting India into the U.S.-Israel defence technology cooperation corridor. What are the geopolitical and domestic limitations that India must tackle in this effort? What benefit will the U.S. and Israel gain from a partnership with India? This paper studies the U.S.-Israel defence technology corridor, and suggests potential collaborations for India. It recommends the three innovation hubs, Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Bengaluru, coming together to maximise their respective strengths and declared national technology priorities.
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In Dec 2020, U.S. private equity firm Blackstone acquired a controlling stake in Piramal Glass, in recognition of its inherent business value and accelerated digital journey. The plant in Kosamba, Gujarat, is an export powerhouse which has adopted digital technologies like IoT and cloud, and is a lodestar for brownfield facilities looking to become globally competitive, data-driven, and Industry-4.0 enabled. Early digital innovation helped restore plant-wide operations within a week of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst adhering to stringent regulatory norms and workforce restrictions.
Following the lead set by the U.S. and Israel, India is now tapping its domestic start-up ecosystem for technological innovation and self-reliance in defence. Indian entrepreneurs are developing niche technologies which will boost the Indian military’s combat capabilities. They are also enabling the much-needed commercial synergy with Silicon Valley venture firms.
In March 2021, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced the addition of 15 manufacturing facilities to the prestigious Global Lighthouse Network. Two Indian companies were on the list – the Tata Steel facility in Jamshedpur, and the ReNew Power facility in Hubli. This is twice the number of Indian companies on the list last year. Many more facilities will likely be added to the WEF list, as several prepare to graduate their manufacturing businesses to keep up with Industry 4.0.
Individuals now generate copious amounts of personal data everyday – both online and offline. Devices and infrastructure extract data, which can be shared instantly across borders with diverse entities - without consent. It is imperative that countries come together to create regulations to protect individuals who are unable to control how their data is shared and processed. A model already exists in the Paris Climate Agreement.
As the density of satellites increases in Earth's orbit, extreme space weather events like solar storms and radiation whiplashes threaten satellite constellations. A ‘whole-of-government’ approach is needed to address the challenges of space weather on India’s converging space and digital economies.
With an increasing human and robotic footprint in the solar system, there is a need to develop robust regulatory mechanisms to prevent the “forward” and “backward” biochemical contamination of these unexplored celestial bodies.
Big Tech wields considerable influence over commerce, speech, media, and politics. Mergers and acquisitions have been key to their burgeoning growth. Now it is clear that their power is buttressed by anti-competitive and predatory practices. Governments across the world are moving to redress this through regulation, but the task is complex.
Digital manufacturing is the next wave of business globalisation, which, post-pandemic is not just blind automation to save costs but the smart use of digital tools to modernise industry and create good quality jobs. Digital manufacturing is the next leap for India’s tech leadership - the first being the software outsourcing movement in the 1990s. This time around, government incentives are aligning with industry interests. It offers India a chance to reposition itself globally, and play a leadership role.
Tata Steel is one of the few global companies on the prestigious Global Lighthouse Network for its advanced digital manufacturing systems - and the only Indian company on the list. The vision of a digitally integrated manufacturing facility was introduced when the Tata Steel Kalinganagar plant (TSK) was conceptualized in 2006. The subsequent implementation and continuous upgrade of the facility has made it a global benchmark. This case study on TSK's journey can guide other companies to overcome challenges in upgrading systems, using artificial intelligence and big data analytics to increase efficiency and drive innovation.