Purdue Organizes Inaugural Meeting of the U.S.-India Semiconductor Collaborative in Washington, D.C., During State Visit by India’s Prime Minister Modi
Purdue University President Mung Chiang on Friday (June 23) joined top U.S. and Indian government officials and technology industry leaders in Washington, D.C., for the inaugural meeting of the USA-India Semiconductor Collaborative, aimed at growing the semiconductors relationship between Purdue and the South Asian nation. The event, co-hosted by Purdue and SEMI, a global industry association serving the electronics design and manufacturing supply chain, coincided with the first official state visit to the U.S. of Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi.
“The goal of this meeting is to set the stage for a successful semiconductor partnership that helps develop a robust skilled workforce, advances R&D efforts and grows the economic opportunities for both the U.S. and India,” Chiang said. “We’re excited to bring together such a high-level collaboration of academic, government and industry partners as we look to explore the advancement of semiconductor research, innovation, and workforce development.”
The semiconductor collaborative’s launch brought together senior leaders from the U.S. and Indian governments, executives from the semiconductor industry, and U.S. and Indian universities to strengthen U.S.-India partnerships on semiconductors and microelectronics. Attendees included U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Indiana); Congressman Jim Baird (Indiana-District 4), India’s Union Minister for Electronics and IT, the Honorable Ashwini Vaishnaw; Assistant Secretary of State, the Honorable Ramin Toloui; SEMI CEO Ajit Manocha; India Semiconductor Mission CEO Amitesh Sinha; the director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, V. Kamakoti; and Deputy Director of NIST’s CHIPS R&D Office Eric Lin. Senior executives from leading U.S. technology companies including Micron, Intel, IBM, Texas Instruments, MediaTek, GlobalFoundries, Microsoft, Marvell, Synopsys, Cadence, NVIDIA, and others also participated in the meeting and shared their ideas and support for a strong semiconductors partnership between the two countries.
In May, Purdue entered into a landmark international agreement with the government of India to advance workforce development, research and development, and industry partnerships in semiconductors. Chiang called it “the first of its kind under the framework of U.S.-India governmental partnership.” With that announcement, Purdue was established as a key collaborator with India and the India Semiconductor Mission in skilled workforce development and joint research and innovation in the burgeoning fields of semiconductors and microelectronics.
“I think it sends a very strong message and is a reflection and a recognition of Purdue being not just America’s leading university in semiconductor workforce and R&D but also blazing a trail globally in terms of academic institutions putting together international partnerships,” said Vijay Raghunathan, director of semiconductor education at Purdue and a professor in the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
During the meeting in Washington, participants focused on:
- Reviewing and celebrating ongoing U.S.-India semiconductor collaborations and agreements.
- Exploring opportunities to strengthen the semiconductor and microelectronics workforce as well as joint research and innovation efforts.
- Generating a framework for a joint U.S.-India semiconductor roadmap in preparation for the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit in September, which will be held in New Delhi, India.
Sen. Young, who co-sponsored the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, praised Purdue’s nation-leading efforts in advancing all areas of semiconductor education and R&D – from materials to chip design to advanced packaging, and more. He said, “It is not just about reshoring, but about the U.S. taking the lead, working with partners and allies like India. So, I am thrilled to see this group of people come together. Count me in as a strong supporter of this initiative.”
Hailing the U.S.-India relationship as one of the most defining relationships of this century, Minister Vaishnaw said, “Our cooperation in the area of semiconductors and critical and emerging technologies is vital. The recently signed Purdue-ISM MOU adds value to Purdue, the U.S., and India.”
Vaishnaw thanked the U.S. government and partners for their great cooperation and reinforced that the U.S.-India relationship will define the world order in the coming years.
The attendees discussed that a goal is to create a landmark international agreement similar to an accord signed on May 21 during the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Hiroshima, Japan, that established the UPWARDS Network for workforce advancement and research and development in semiconductors. Purdue was one of 11 U.S. and Japanese universities to sign the agreement.
The leaders discussed the need for academic collaboration around key issues, including defense, national security and advancing technologies. While academic research is critical to the partnership, developing a resilient supply chain is a key priority.
On the first day of the three-day state visit, Pooja Chaudhary and Mahindra Rautela, two visiting scholars in Purdue’s Indian Overseas Visiting Doctoral Fellows program, were invited to Washington, D.C., to take part in a meeting with Prime Minister Modi, First Lady Jill Biden, U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti, India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar, and director of the National Science Foundation Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan. Chaudhary and Rautela are among 74 visiting fellows who, since 2020, have spent more than a year at Purdue doing research with faculty. The two fellows were among a selective group of 11 U.S. and Indian students invited to participate in a discussion on “Skilling for the Future,” which included showcasing U.S.-India collaboration in STEM.
“Education is a cornerstone of the bond between India and the United States – one we hope to keep building and strengthening with this visit,” said Biden in a statement released by the White House. “Our universities are partnering together, leading research, and creating apprenticeships and internships that span the ocean. And, as we’ve seen here, students from both our countries are learning and growing alongside each other – discovering the people they want to become and building a better world, together.”
Purdue has nearly 3,000 students from India, one of the highest enrollments of international students at a university in the U.S.