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International Space Security Conference on Scope and Prospects for Global Cooperation

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  • November 13, 2007 to November 14, 2007
    Only by Invitation

    For a growing number of countries, the use of satellites for the enhancement of security and defence has become ubiquitous, and India is no exception. As a leading space power with wide-ranging strategic interests, and with a military establishment undergoing extensive modernization in order to meet the security challenges of the 21st century, India’s reliance on space systems for its security and defence needs will only increase. With burgeoning strategic and economic ties with Europe, Russia and the United States, India is well placed to leverage international efforts in a number of aspects of space security and defence in order to meet its own growing requirements, as well as to establish long-term, mutually advantageous collaborative programmes with its allies. The environment is ripe for international policy and industrial collaboration – with India at the hub of all activity.

    The aim of the International Space Security Conference on Scope and Prospects for Global Cooperation is to establish the scope, prospects and limits of international cooperation on Indian space security and defence issues at both policy and industrial levels. In light of the recent visits to India by President Chirac of France and President Bush of the United States, this conference seeks to build on these burgeoning strategic and commercial links as they apply to Indian and international space security and defence.

    From a policy perspective, the conference will seek to identify areas of common interest where India and international partners may cooperate in space to mutually enhance security, strengthen the space industrial base in both India and abroad, and achieve greater military-military interoperability. The conference will explore several areas where such cooperation might be possible, including satellite communications, space-based maritime surveillance, and missile defence. The conference will bring together leading policy, industry, military and academic expertise from India and abroad together in order to explore these issues.

    From a commercial perspective, the conference aims to identify opportunities for Indian and international aerospace industry to establish long-term ties in order to better serve Indian space security and defence requirements, and in order to better collaborate on future procurement projects. It is already Indian government policy to allow international commercial entities to collaborate with Indian firms on defence contracts, and so the conference will explore how such collaboration might be extended to Indian space security and defence procurement. Areas the conference will explore include prospects and opportunities for industrial collaboration, international research and development opportunities, and discussions on Indian and international approaches to government-industry partnerships. The conference will also serve as an opportunity for Indian procurement officials to meet prospective industrial suppliers and partners, and for the policy and commercial communities to better understand each other’s needs and perspectives. The conference will bring together Indian commercial and procurement figures, as well as international commercial figures, in order to further explore these issues.

    The conference will also explore the limits of international cooperation in Indian space security and defence. For example, restrictions on the export of sensitive high technologies from the United States pose challenges to significant collaboration between India and the U.S. To this end, the conference will examine progress made in the discussions that have taken place under the auspices of the Indo-U.S. Defence Policy Group, and its various committees, as well as in other fora such as the Indo-U.S. High Technology Cooperation Group. Other aspects worthy of exploration in the conference are areas of potential cooperation that might jeopardize India’s strategic independence.

    The conference is intended for Indian government ministers, officials, military officers, academics and industry representatives, and for senior international officials, military officers, academics and industry representatives from Europe, the United States, Israel and Russia.