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Energising R&D Capabilities Towards Atmanirbhar Bharat: DRDO International Seminar

Bengaluru: An International Seminar was organized by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) on 4 February 2021, during Aero India at Yelahanka, Bengaluru. The theme of the seminar “Energising the R&D Capabilities of Industry for Atmanirbhar Bharat”, focused on various existing and new initiatives needed for enabling industry to become self reliant in defence systems. Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar delivered a special address and Secretary DD R&D and Chairman DRDO, Dr G Satheesh Reddy presided over the seminar proceedings.

The seminar was preceded by DRDO-Industry synergetic interaction where aerospace professionals from across the globe shared their ideas, views and opinions for promoting self-reliance in aerospace and defence sector. During the Seminar, the industries were exposed to the latest policy initiatives, sustained engagements, intense technology transfers and test facility support provided to them by DRDO, which will enhance their technological capabilities substantially. Information was also shared regarding the initiatives of DRDO for R&D funding to industry under Technology Development Fund (TDF) and free use of DRDO patents.

There was full spectrum coverage on the topic, right from the Government to Private Industries, including MSMEs, Startups and Foreign Industries. In an invigorating talk on various aspects of Atmanirbhar Bharat, DRDO perspective was elaborated by GN Rao, Director General (Production Coordination & Services Interaction). The startup perspective was covered by a young entrepreneur, Karan Garg, Director, Raphe mPhibr Pvt Ltd, Greater Noida. MSME perspectives were elaborated by Dr Arvind Patel, MD & CEO, Sahajan and Laser Technology Ltd, Gandhinagar, Gujarat and Sachin Agrawal, CMD, M/s PTC Industries, Lucknow.

MV Gowtama, CMD, M/s BEL Bengaluru, highlighted DPSU viewpoints of R&D in defence manufacturing. Baba Kalyani, CMD, M/s Bharat Forge Ltd Pune explained the points of industry which are important for energizing defence R&D in Indian industry. Foreign OEM perspectives were elucidated by Mr Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, VP & Country Director, M/s Thales. The talks were followed by an open house in which constructive suggestions were submitted and debated.

A suggestion from user was a request for funding opportunities and mentoring by DRDO right up to tying up with users. Other suggestions were component level manufacturing capability, IT incentives for R&D, need to cut down on elaborate trial schedule through simulation analysis and third party certification.

The Defence Secretary in his address stated that R&D is the most important pillar of self-reliance. He said that India is the most attractive R&D centre and the world has faith in our capabilities. He spoke about the list of 108 defence items identified by DRDO for local production by the industry to achieve self-reliance in the defence sector. He encouraged and challenged the industry to take up this wonderful opportunity and make the country self-reliant. He also praised DRDO for leading from the front in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and developing various technologies.

Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary DD R&D & Chairman DRDO spoke about the initiatives undertaken by DRDO for providing support to industries and said that ideas are welcome which can further the R&D prospects in the country. He spoke about the way forward and how the industry can be encouraged to come out with production of the state-of-art weapon systems. He further said that Aatmanirbhar Bharat in true sense means having the design, development and production capabilities. He stated that getting ideas from industry is important and getting the products inducted is also an important aspect.

DRDO is continuously developing advanced indigenous technologies for the Armed Forces since last six decades. These latest technologies have huge export potential as well. The seminar has further strengthened DRDO’s resolve of making our nation Atmanirbhar in defence.

The seminar was attended physically by 100 participants and in virtual mode by more than a thousand participants. There was a live streaming of the seminar as well.

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