Key SME defence R&D players launch association

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Key defence industry players came together on Thursday to launch DIIA that will focus on accelerating indigenous design and development in the sector.

The Defence Industry and Innovators Association (DIIA), will, according to its chairman Ashok Atluri, provide a platform for like-minded organizations to rally around, collaborate and co-operate to forge ahead in ensuring that Make by India becomes a sustainable initiative.

“When you look at the value chain of high-technology complex defence equipment only 30 percent-40 percent of the costs contribute towards cost of manufacturing. Whereas almost 60 percent of the value is captured at the design and development level,” he said.

Till now, he said, there has been no focus on the design and development of defence equipment in India since the focus was always on how to manufacture components or, sometimes, even equipment in India.

Thus, DIIA, “as an organization, believes that the focus on design and development is the only way to become a world-leader and exporter in defence equipment from being the largest importer of defence equipment”.

“That is the only way for India to shed its dependence on imported equipment. Indian defence industry and especially the SMEs which are the cradle of innovation and creativity, can build equipment that not only meets the stringent requirements of the Indian armed forces but also can be exported to countries world-wide,” Atluri, who heads the Hyderabad-based Zen Technologies that manufacturers simulators for a variety of applications, said.

The DIIA’s agenda includes:

* To provide credible Indian defence innovators and industry players a conducive environment and platform to discuss critical industry issues, with the defence SMEs at its core

* To formulate plans to steer the conversation towards ‘Design, Develop & Make in India’ and additionally position indigenous SMEs companies as the cradles of innovation

*To make a meaningful contribution to the Indian defence requirements by carefully aligning long-term defence plans and R&D strategy of the Indian Industry to enable larger domestic procurement and also exports from India

* To ensure that Indian defence capabilities that have been developed are nurtured and honed to global standards while preserving them against any predatory tactics.

The DIIA at present has 27 members from across defence verticals, ranging from, avionics, simulation, telecommunication and robotics, among others.

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