Roundup of US Consulate General Judith speech at Umagine Chennai | Kalvimalar - News

Roundup of US Consulate General Judith speech at Umagine Chennai - 23-Mar-2023

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Judith Ravin, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Chennai made a presentation on the topic 'Tamil Nadu as a Hub for Global Tech Collaboration' at the Umagine Chennai 2023, a Technology, Entrepreneurship & Skills Summit that was held from 23 to 25 March at Chennai. 

Judith delivered her talk on March 23.   

"Good morning. It is an honor for me to be a part of this inaugural event to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the United States’ economic partnership with India, including across Tamil Nadu.  Let me first thank the Umagine organizers and the Tamil Nadu government for arranging what is expected to be a productive and impactful three days of sessions and interactive engagement. 

Having created a business climate that has attracted over 350 U.S companies to Tamil Nadu in the fields of manufacturing, research and design, back-office data processing, and software development to name a few, the state has demonstrated its ability to successfully support the operations of some of the top, multinational companies from around the world.  We must now look to the future and further expansion of our economic ties.

In late January, our two nations launched the U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology – or iCET – led by Indian National U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Security Advisor Ajit Doval.  

iCET marks an important new chapter in our cooperation as well as the ability and willingness to work together on cutting-edge technologies, here in Tamil Nadu and around the country.    

The goal of iCET is to elevate and expand our strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of our two countries.  When you look at the key pillars of iCET: strengthening our innovation ecosystems; defense innovation and technology cooperation; resilient semiconductor supply chains; space; science, technology, and math talent; and next generation telecommunications; it is easy to see where Tamil Nadu’s own goals are similarly aligned.      

These partnerships are creating jobs in both countries and making U.S. and Indian companies more competitive.  During the iCET launch, the two sides also discussed opportunities for greater co-development and coproduction, along with ways to deepen connectivity across our innovation ecosystems.  They noted the value of establishing “innovation bridges” in key sectors, including through expos, hackathons, and pitch sessions.  These are clear avenues of collaboration to explore here in Tamil Nadu and across South India. 

I will touch on a few iCET domains.  In the field of science, technology, and math talent development, the Association of American Universities will create a new task force consisting of university research and higher education leaders from the United States and India to make recommendations for expanding U.S.-India research and higher education partnerships. This collaboration will include the Indian Institutes of Technology.  

IIT Madras has a longstanding, collaborative relationship with the United States. This initiative will expand upon our existing cooperation.

The U.S. National Science Foundation, led by Chennai native Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, announced 35 new grants last August in support of joint scientific research to facilitate collaboration between U.S. and Indian institutions.  Dr. Panchanathan will address the next session, titled “Emerging Technologies that will Shape the Next Wave of Growth,” to underscore the value of our partnership in science and innovation.

When it comes to space, our two nations are advancing our bilateral relationship to new levels.  Earlier this month, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory delivered to their ISRO counterparts in Bengaluru one of the most 

sophisticated and advanced synthetic aperture radars ever designed.  The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR – one of NASA’s largest bilateral projects to date and jointly designed, developed, and built with ISRO at a cost of $1.5 billion – will help the world better understand natural resources and hazards, as well as provide information for scientists to better comprehend the effects and pace of climate change. 

What does this mean for Tamil Nadu?  The data collected will allow scientists to determine changes in sea level, soil moisture, biomass levels, and sinking land due to overuse of ground water.  It will have the capacity to track floods, even through vegetation canopies, and provide accurate flood forecasting to help keep downstream communities informed and safe.

As India’s economy continues to expand, the opportunities are vast to further strengthen our bilateral relationship, particularly in the fields of science and technology for public and private sector entities. In countless ways our two economies are intertwined.  U.S. and Indian companies are driving technological innovation to new heights by continuing to work seamlessly together.

Based on the latest figures we received last week from Washington, the United States is India’s largest trading partner with $191 billion in bilateral trade in 2022, up from $160 billion in 2021.  When it comes to foreign direct investment, the United States is India’s largest investor, with a wide range of companies injecting over $45 billion in 2021.  U.S. investors inject capital into the Indian economy, including through technology firms like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, and Intel, among many others.  The dynamic entrepreneurial spirit that bonds our two nations’ private sectors and fuels technological advancements in both countries turns aspiration into inspiration.  And the mutually beneficial commercial ties between our two nations are poised for continued growth into the future.

Once again, thank you for this opportunity to underscore the integral ties between the economies of the United States and India and how our collaborative #USIndiaTogether relationship drives innovation and inspires solutions here in Tamil Nadu, across India, in the United States, and around the world.   As Umagine, WEmagine the future we will have left behind for the Next-NextGen, thank you for including the United States of America, a land that stands for and was built on innovation. Thank you".


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