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S Christopher, the former chairman of India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), recently emphasized the importance of fostering closer collaboration between Indian and US academia and industry in defense manufacturing. He identified several key areas for improvement and suggested potential solutions to facilitate smoother collaboration.

Dr. Christopher highlighted the crucial role academic institutions can play in bridging the gap between the two countries. He proposed involving both Indian and US academic institutions in joint research and development projects. This would encourage cross-pollination of ideas and expertise, leading to innovative solutions for shared defense challenges.

He acknowledged the complex and expensive process for Indian companies seeking to enter the US defense market. He advocated for simplifying the entry process to encourage more participation and foster a more level playing field. This could involve streamlined regulatory approvals, joint ventures, and technology transfer agreements.

Dr. Christopher suggested that DRDO and its US counterpart, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), could explore co-developing advanced defense equipment. This collaboration would not only be cost-effective but also lead to the creation of cutting-edge technologies that benefit both nations.