Arjit Roshan Arjit Roshan
Coordinator, Communications, U.S.-India Business Council


June 16, 2023


Event: INDUS X: Catalyzing an Indo-U.S. Defense Innovation Ecosystem 

Date: June 21, 2023 

Location: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 

Organizers: U.S. Department of Defense, India’s Ministry of Defence, U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce 

Held right ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s White House visit, the U.S. Chamber’s inaugural INDUS X Summit is a key opportunity to accelerate U.S.-India defense co-development and co-production, and to fortify the strategic partnership between our nations. Held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense and the Indian Ministry of Defence, INDUS X will pave the way to:  

  • Move toward the goals established in the U.S.-India roadmap for defense industrial cooperation  
  • Capitalize on the tech releasability outcomes that industry anticipates from the U.S.-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) 
  • Explore joint opportunities in high-tech defense innovation, research, and development 
  • Strengthen bilateral trade relationships and defense establishment linkages 
  • Enhance connectivity between American and Indian defense startups to encourage greater collaboration in defense technology 

INDUS X has the potential to be a catalyst for India to achieve its target of $5 billion in defense exports by 2025, and for India to diversify its defense supply chain. The conference will feature a defense exhibition, where firms will showcase technologies and platforms that can benefit both countries’ border security, maritime domain awareness, space situational awareness, and more, contributing to a more stable and secure Indo-Pacific region. Throughout this conference, USIBC will help to foster a culture of co-development and co-production between the U.S. and India.  


Join us for the inaugural conference on June 21 at the historic U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Washington, D.C.


INDUS X is a milestone in the accelerating convergence between the world's oldest and largest democracies, and is a key deliverable of the iCET. During the industry track of the iCET hosted at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this January with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and the U.S. and Indian National Security Advisors Jake Sullivan and Ajit Doval, defense members asked for these key deliverables:  

  • A U.S.-India Security of Supply Chain Agreement  
  • A U.S.-India Reciprocal Defense Procurement Agreement  
  • A U.S.-India Roadmap for Defense Industrial Cooperation  
  • Progress on International Traffic in Arms Regulations, Technical Assistance Agreements and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties to increase the volume of commercial trade in strategically important sectors 
  • Movement on tech release issues so that Indian startups can enhance engagement with the American defense industrial ecosystem  
  • For USIBC to host a platform for startups and primes to open dialogues and incubate potential defense deals  

During U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s recent visit to India, both sides initiated negotiations on a Security of Supply Chain Agreement and Defense Procurement Agreement, and established their Roadmap for Defense Industrial Cooperation. American National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s recent iCET meeting with Indian NSA Doval in India further reaffirmed that both sides continue to focus on tech releasability issues ahead of Modi’s state visit to foster greater Indo-American defense cooperation.  

The INDUS X conference builds off this momentum to cultivate a joint defense innovation ecosystem and foster co-development and co-production between the two nations. INDUS X is part of the broader strategic and defense partnership initiative, “the defense innovation bridge,” announced under iCET and led by the U.S. Department of Defense and India’s Innovation for Defence Excellence initiative, housed under the India’s Department for Defense Production. 

Through the INDUS X conference and its exhibition for its defense startup members, USIBC is playing a key role in meeting the objectives of the defense innovation bridge, delivering on the iCET’s defense track, and providing a platform that promises to connect defense primes, startups, and innovators.  

Potential Deliverables from INDUS X 

  1. Launch of Joint Challenges: The conference will see the initiation of Joint Challenges under the Defense Innovation Bridge, focusing on common dual-use cases for both nations. 
  2. Joint Working Group (JWG): A JWG will be established to guide activities under the Defense Innovation Bridge. This group will encourage interaction between startups and delegates of both countries, fostering mutual confidence. 
  3. Indo-U.S. Joint Innovation Fund: To boost deep tech defense startups in both countries, a joint innovation fund is proposed. This fund aims to utilize a Public-Private Partnership model to assemble funds and expertise. 
  4. Partnerships with Academic Institutions: The conference will involve leading universities, incubators, and accelerators. Partnerships with these entities will support defense innovation projects. 
  5. Senior Advisory Group: The conference will see USIBC launch a senior advisory group comprised of government officials, industry leaders, and academic experts to guide future bilateral engagements under the INDUS X banner.  


For more information, contact: 

Arjit Roshan  

About the authors

Arjit Roshan

Arjit Roshan