India, Israel to jointly work in space research and cybersecurity
Several partnerships in space research are in the offing between Israel and India with the director of the Israel Space Agency (ISA) visiting Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) headquarters in Bangalore on Wednesday, the day India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) placed its third resource-mapping satellite PSLV-C36 in orbit.
Both countries have collaborated in space research and technology in the past. In 2008, ISRO launched Israeli reconnaissance satellite TechSAR aboard its satellite-launching PSLV.
More recently, India successfully tested Barak 8 (‘Lightning 8’ in Hebrew) in June at the Chandipur research and development base in Odisha. The surface-to-air interceptor missile was jointly developed by India’s defense research and development organisation and Israel Aerospace Industries.
Avi Blasberger, director, ISA, and Israel’s science, technology and space minister Offir Akunis are on a four-day visit to India to step up R&D collaborative projects in applied sciences and technology, including cyber security and big data analytics in healthcare. Space partnerships include the fields of earth observation, communication and rocket propulsion.
“Connecting academic institutions and industry from both countries will stimulate knowledge creation and foster innovation, techno-entrepreneurship, intellectual property and prototypes,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan, India’s minister for Science & Technology, who met Akunis on his four-day visit to India.
Joint projects on cyber security and big data for healthcare will be awarded to the partnering academic and R&D laboratories from the two countries during the next year.
“Israel is one of the leading countries in cyber security, or defending civilian infrastructures – such as banks, communication, railways, electricity, water etc-- from hostile penetration. Over the last two years in Israel, more than 250 companies were founded only under the title of cyber security,” said Knesset-member MK Yaakov Perry, also former director of the Shin Bet (Israel security agency) and former minister of science, technology and space, who is part of the delegation to India.
Israel is in the forefront of cyber security, with companies such as Adallom offering security technology to track patterns and anomalies that could be potential security breaches for remote servers, including those running Microsoft’s or Google’s cloud services.
Other partnerships include the fields of agriculture, water conservation, biotechnology, human genomics, nanotechnology, robotics, solar energy, information technology, lasers and electro-optics.
“Israel is known as the startup nation and we can contribute, and be contributed to by Indian researchers, universities, etc. It works quite well,” said Perry. “India and Israel share the same values and are facing the problems, seeing the present and looking for the future. And I think that Israel can learn a lot from India and India can learn a lot from Israel.”