PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised the International Conference on DEFENCE DESIGNS "Vision 2047," held in New Delhi on September 27, 2023, brought together leaders, experts, and stakeholders from the defence and aerospace sectors to discuss the future of defence design, innovation, and collaboration in India's armed forces.
For the first time in the Indian defence ecosystem, PHDCCI organised an event on the unique theme of Defence Designs Vision 2047. A number of innovative unique theme: Defence Designs Vision 2047 ideas were voiced by experts including creating a society of Indian designers, exploring modular designs as a concept, integrating defence designs with national security to include CRPF,, BSF and other paramilitary forces, coming up with innovative designs for the women force who comprise 5% of the security force already, increased private R&D funding into security designs and collaborative R & D exploring public private partnerships and international collaborations.
It was also brought out that there is a huge opportunity in warship design and production to the extent of Rs. 200 lakh crores in the next 15 years. The primary objective of the International Conference on DEFENCE DESIGNS "Vision 2047," was to facilitate discussions among leaders, experts, and stakeholders in the defence and aerospace sectors.
The event aimed to explore and influence the future of defence design, encourage innovation, and foster collaboration within India's armed forces. Its overarching goal was to chart a strategic path that aligns with the vision outlined in "Vision 2047," with a focus on achieving self-reliance and global leadership in the defence industry.
This significant and impactful conference featured three sessions, which encompassed topics such as Way forward for Indigenous Designs to establish Strategic Autonomy, Defence Designs :Roadmap for Indian Armed Forces and Bridging the gap between Design and Production: Innovation, Strategic Collaborations & Funding.
Air Marshal B R Krishna, a former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff of India, emphasized the need for high operational standards in defence products. He stressed the role of holistic design, proposed a National Design Policy, and coined the phrase "sasta sundar tikau" to represent affordability, aesthetics, and durability.
Vice Admiral Satishkumar Namdeo Ghormade, a former Vice Chief of Naval Staff, emphasized self-reliance, balanced growth in the defence sector, and the importance of research and development for advanced equipment. He highlighted India's potential and rich history.
His speech highlighted the significance of identifying and understanding problems as the first step toward progress, underlining the importance of defence innovation and the role of institutions like the National Institute for Implementation of Defence Innovation (NIIO).
Mr. Rudra Shriram, Chair of the Defence & HLS Committee at PHDCCI and Joint President of DCM Shriram Ltd., highlighted the momentum of "Make in India" in the defence sector and stressed the importance of collaborating with the private sector to achieve global leadership.
Col. K V Kuber, Director - Aerospace & Defence at Ernst and Young LLP, focused on Israel's R&D leadership and the need for foundational studies and comprehensive Project Definition Documents. He emphasized international collaborations to enhance the defence sector's capabilities.
Col. K V Kuber also stressed the critical role of academia and education in defence designs, advocating for a systematic and knowledge-driven approach. In the panel discussion Defence Designs :Roadmap for Indian Armed Forces at the International Conference on DEFENCE DESIGNS "Vision 2047," several key highlights emerged, shedding light on critical aspects of defence design and innovation:
The Session was chaired by Air Marshal Ashutosh Dixit, AVSM, VM, VSM, Deputy Chief of Air Staff and the discussion revolved on some important issues such as
Structured Design Approach: There is a need for framework for a structured approach to defence design, emphasizing effective integration into the broader defence ecosystem.
Industry Engagement: A crucial question about industry’s was discussed about the willingness to engage actively in the defence design process, highlighting the importance of industry participation and collaboration.
Global Comparison: We have to take insights into procurement policies of different countries to seek a global context, showcasing different countries' approaches to defence procurement.
User-Centric Design: A greater stress was laid on the significance of considering end-user interactions, particularly regarding body armour for women, highlighting the need to understand specific user needs. It also highlighted the importance of tailoring solutions to address the specific requirements and challenges faced by women in the armed forces.
Holistic Approach: The proposal for a more holistic approach through the formation of a national integration of designers resonated throughout the discussion, aiming to streamline design and development processes.
The other key Panelists for the Session were Ms. Sonal V Mishra, IPS, Inspector General Provisioning, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Commodore Nagesh, Cmde - Warship Design Bureau, Indian Navy, Mr. Anurag Kumar Sharma, General Manager, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Ltd. (AVNL), Maj. Gen. (Dr.) A. K. Channan, PVSM, SM (Retd.), Principal Advisor (Defence & Aerospace), Bharat Forge Ltd., Mr. Ashok Wadhawan, Joint President & Head Land System, Adani Defence and Mr. Vaibhav Gupta, Director, MKU Ltd.
There was an important panel discussion on Bridging the gap between Design and Production: Innovation, Stratergic Collaborations & Funding at the International Conference on DEFENCE DESIGNS "Vision 2047 Lieutenant General (Dr.) Subrata Saha (Retd.) set the tone for the session by highlighting India's significant increase in exports by 10% through its innovative solutions.
The Session was chaired by Smt. Nidhi Bansal, Scientist G, Director Directorate of Technology Development Fund, Defence Research Development Organization (DRDO) which deliberated on some key issues such as
Strategic Human Resources: The panel stressed the pivotal role of skilled human resources in advancing defence technology. The Chair highlighted the establishment of 15 Centers of Excellence and announced plans for short-term courses to upskill professionals in the field, underscoring the importance of a skilled workforce.
Bilateral Collaboration: The Deputy Defence Attache of Israel to India shared the increasing confidence level in the unprecedented progress that Israel and India could achieve together. He reaffirmed Israel's unwavering support for India's defence and innovation endeavors, emphasizing bilateral cooperation.
Role of Defence Start-ups: The panellist also shed light on the burgeoning role of defence technology start-ups. They emphasized the need for a seamless procurement system within the defence ecosystem and highlighted the importance of identifying and bridging gaps between academia, industry, and the government for effective collaboration.
Domain Expertise and Collaboration: India’s dominance in the design of defence products should focus more mathematical and physics concept along with practical exposure. The panel stressed on the clear definition of design in the context of defence technology and proposed collaborative efforts to address gaps, focusing on specialized knowledge.
Nurturing Innovative Leadership: Focus on nurturing innovative leaders who can drive transformation in the defence sector, emphasizing the critical role of visionary leadership in shaping the future of defence design and technology.
Embracing Individual Potential: The discussion also encouraged individuals to embrace innovation and self-improvement, reinforcing the idea that every individual has the potential to make a difference in the field of defence design and technology.
The other key Panelists for the Session included Mr. Eyal Ben-Oz, Deputy Defense Attaché, Defence Coop. & HLS (SIBAT), Embassy of Israel, Dr. Ashutosh Pastor, Senior Manager & Head-Incubation, Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), IIT Delhi, Mr. Abhishek Jain, Chief Business Officer, Zeus Numerix, Mr. Ranjan Sri Das, Deputy Program Director, Defence Innovation Organization, Ministry of Defence, Mr. Amey Belorkar, Fund Manager of Maharashtra Defence and Aerospace Venture Fund and Senior Vice President, IDBI Capital Markets & Securities Ltd., Mr. Vivek Ramanath, Deputy General Manager - Structure & Advanced Analysis, Smart Engineering and Design Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd. (SEDS)
The sessions were marked by insightful discussions, with a strong focus on collaboration, innovation, and the need for a cohesive ecosystem involving academia, industry, and government. The panellists’ diverse perspectives enriched the dialogue and laid the foundation for further advancements in defence technology and production.
A Report on Defence Design was also released during the Conference.
This International Conference was supported by DCM Shriram and Starwire India Ltd.and EY was the Strategic Partner and it was supported by PHDCCI annual sponsors, DLF Ltd; Jindal Steel & Power; KLJ Group; Multani Pharmaceuticals Ltd; Marble City; MMG Group; Radico Khaitan Ltd; Uflex Ltd; Vestige; Eazy ERP Technologies; JK Tyre & Industries Ltd; Sagar Group of Industries; Superior Industries Limited; Samsung India Electronics; Oswal Greentech; Apeejay Stya Group; Blossom Kochhar Beauty Products Pvt Ltd; DCM Shriram; R E Rogers; Trident Group; Ajit Industries Pvt Ltd; Bhagwati Plastic and Pipes Industries; Central Coalfields Ltd; DD Pharmaceutical Ltd.; Hindware Sanitary; Jindal Steel; Modern Automobiles; P S BEDI & Co.