On January 31, 2023, the United States and India held the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-
India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology, known as iCET, moving forward on
collaboration between the two countries on quantum computing, AI, space flight, and other
iCET was announced by President Biden and Prime Minister Modi in May 2022 as part of a broader collaboration, the U.S.-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, focusing on economic, defense, and technology cooperation. The White House released a fact sheet on iCET on January 31, 2023, listing the government officials in attendance and the projects discussed.
Specific to quantum computing, the White House announced that as a result of the iCET meeting, the U.S. and India would be establishing a joint Indo-U.S. Quantum Coordination Mechanism “with participation from industry, academia, and government to facilitate research and industry collaboration.” The White House also announced partnerships in artificial intelligence, high performance computing, semiconductor supply chains, and defense innovation.
Most experts see the iCET initiative as a response to concerns about China, both as to the rest of the world’s reliance on Chinese and Taiwanese supply chains and as to advances in Chinese technology in emerging fields like quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
Both countries see China as a rival in both geopolitics and technology, and hope that greater cooperation in emerging technologies will allow them both to better compete with China and limit their dependence on China.
Few details or specifics as to the nature of the Quantum Coordination Mechanism have been announced yet, but organizations interested in promoting quantum computing development are optimistic. Reena Dayal, the chairperson of the Quantum Ecosystems and Technology Council of India (QETCI), who was previously interviewed at Dead Cat Live Cat in April 2022, commented: “With the rapid evolution of path-breaking technologies like Quantum, it is even more important to drive international collaboration. It is great to see that collaboration is happening in Quantum between the US and India. I hope that as more opportunities for collaboration are created, we can use Quantum more towards the common good of humankind: Truly in the spirit of this world being one large global village.””
The continued progress of iCET and the announcement of the Quantum Coordination Mechanism certainly holds promise for U.S.-India cooperation in quantum computing, and we look forward to seeing what the future of this initiative holds..