Purdue University and India in milestone semiconductor alliance; sign partnership in the presence of Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw


Purdue University and the Indian government have announced a semiconductor alliance, a partnership that makes the Indiana-based university the flagship academic partner and collaborator with New Delhi.

According to the agreement, Purdue will be a “key collaborator” with India and the India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) in skilled workforce development and joint research and innovation in the burgeoning fields of semiconductors and microelectronics.

Amitesh Kumar Sinha, CEO, India Semiconductor Mission, and Alyssa Wilcox, senior vice president for partnerships and the president’s chief of staff at Purdue, shake on it in celebration of Purdue’s agreement with India. (Purdue University photo)

The two parties signed the agreement on May 9 in the presence of India’s communications, electronics and information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who also oversees the country’s semiconductors program.

“Purdue is excited to form this pioneering partnership with the India Semiconductor Mission, the first of its kind under the framework of U.S.-India governmental partnership,” Purdue President Mung Chiang said. “We share Minister Vaishnaw’s enthusiasm in generating talent and collaborating on innovation, and look forward to co-leading the national semiconductor roadmap of our two nations.”

Minister Vaishnaw also tweeted the announcement.

The agreement falls under the Semiconductor Supply Chain Innovation Partnership, signed by the US and India on March 10.

It is also aligned with the US and India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) partnership launched by the National Security Advisors of the US and India in January 2023, focused on collaboration in emerging and critical technologies, including semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

The agreement marks Purdue’s ongoing global outreach effort to help ramp up skilled talent for the next generation of the semiconductor workforce in India. In November, Purdue and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) announced plans to launch a dual-degree master’s program and an integrated five-year bachelor’s and master’s program in semiconductors.

According to the agreement with India, Purdue will focus on:

Creating cutting-edge online and hybrid academic programs for specialized training in areas including chip design and fabrication, advanced packaging, semiconductor materials, and embedded system design that can be made available to Indian students as ISM-endorsed training programs, both as noncredit offerings and through integration into the curricula of Indian educational institutions.

Exploring the creation of dual-degree programs in semiconductors and microelectronics with Indian educational institutions.

Joint research and development programs aimed at designing, manufacturing, and commercializing semiconductor chips.

Driving technological advancement and strengthening bilateral relations between the U.S. and India by facilitating collaborations with Indian educational institutions and companies, to obtain joint funding opportunities in the areas of semiconductor research and chip design, manufacturing, and commercialization.

Purdue’s MOU with India and ISM is for five years, with the opportunity to renew. This collaboration aligns with ISM’s mission of driving India’s strategies for developing a comprehensive semiconductors and display ecosystem.

“This partnership brings together the vast capabilities of Indian scientists and Purdue’s rich scientific legacy and resources to address the 21st-century challenge of producing both the research and the talent the world needs to continue advancing semiconductor and microelectronic innovation. Purdue is not alone in working to expand its partnerships in India, AAU recently announced, at the behest of the Biden Administration, a task force to examine and foster strategies to expand critical research and educational partnerships with India’s leading universities. These relationships will be key to the prosperity and security of both of our nations,” said Barbara Snyder, president of the American Association of Universities.

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