What is the U.S.-India Defense Accelerator Ecosystem (INDUS-X)?

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What is the U.S.-India Defense Accelerator Ecosystem (INDUS-X)? Blog Image


The defence ministry said the 'INDUS-X' summit in Delhi marks a "significant milestone" in the collaborative efforts between the two countries.

About U.S.-India Defense Accelerator Ecosystem (INDUS-X)

  • It was launched in June 2023 during the state visit of the Prime Minister of India to the US.
  • Objective: To expand strategic technology partnerships and defense industrial cooperation between governments, businesses, and academic institutions in India and the US. 
  • INDUS X will be a defence innovation bridge, which will inter-alia, include Joint Challenges, Joint Innovation Fund, Academia engagement, Industry-startup connect, investment by private entities in defence projects, mentoring by experts and niche technology projects etc.
  • It will focus on advancing high-tech cooperation and fostering joint research, development, and production opportunities in the defence sector. 
  • The initiative aims to explore possibilities for co-producing jet engines, long-range artillery, and infantry vehicles.
  • India’s Innovations for Defense Excellence (iDEX) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), US, are leading INDUS-X activities.

What is Innovations for Defense Excellence (iDEX)?

  • It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Defence, Govt of India, launched in 2018.
  • The objective of the scheme is to cultivate an innovation ecosystem in the Defence and Aerospace sector by collaborating with startups, innovators, MSMEs, incubators, and academia.
  • iDEX offers grants and support for R&D with significant potential for future adoption in Indian defence and aerospace.
  • It is currently engaged with around 400+ Startups and MSMEs.
  • It is recognized as a game-changer in the defence ecosystem, iDEX has received the PM Award for Innovation in the defence sector.
  • Funding: It will be funded and managed by a ‘Defence Innovation Organization (DIO)’ which has been formed as a ‘not for profit’ company as per the Companies Act 2013 for this purpose, by the two founder members i.e., Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs): HAL and BEL.
  • iDEX will function as the executive arm of DIO, carrying out all the required activities, while DIO will provide high level policy guidance to iDEX.

Q1) What is the Technology Development Fund (TDF) Scheme?

TDF Scheme has been established to promote self-reliance in defense technology as a part of the 'Make in India' initiative. It is a programme of MoD (Ministry of Defence) executed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) meeting the requirements of Tri-Services, Defence Production and DRDO. The scheme encourages participation of public/private industries especially MSMEs to create an ecosystem for enhancing cutting edge technology capability for defence application. It supports indigenous development of components, products, systems and technologies by MSMEs and start-ups.

Source: 'INDUS-X' summit: India, US looking at advancing defence collaboration