Announced earlier today, the governments of India and Israel have collaborated to launch the ‘Israel-India Innovation Initiative Fund’, or I4F, with the purpose of strengthening economic and technological ties between the two nations. I4F will have a total outlay of USD 40 million over the course of a five year period, with each government investing USD 4 million in the fund annually.
During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic visit to Israel earlier this month, I4F was at the forefront of diplomatic discussions and was formalized after lengthy negotiations and co-operative planning. Economic analysts predict that the move will be beneficial to both parties, with the Indian government eager to see its country adapt and progress into the digital age and their export-focused Israeli counterparts keen to gain access to India’s massive market of 1.3 billion people.
In a joint statement released by the Indian Department of Science and Technology and the National Authority for Technological Innovation of Israel, both groups anticipate a fruitful partnership to flourish in the near future:
The Israel-India Innovation Initiative Fund will play a seminal role in enabling Indian and Israeli enterprises to undertake joint R&D projects leading to development of innovative technologies and products that have potential for commercial application. The two prime ministers agreed that negotiations would be conducted on an agreement for the protection of investments in order to encourage bilateral investments from both sides. The two prime ministers noted the importance of realizing the full potential of bilateral trade and investment.
Apart from authorizing Israeli technology firms to invest in the Indian market, the fund also aims at encouraging Indian firms to open development centers in the Jewish state and invest in their technology ecosystem.