Creating a synergy between academia and industry for developing an 'Aerospace Hub' is the need of the hour to promote innovation and address the issue of skills shortage in this key sector, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday.

Addressing scientists and engineers of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) at the HAL complex in Bengaluru, the Vice President said, "The Indian aerospace and defence market is projected to reach $70 billion dollars by 2030, driven by the government's thrust on the modernisation of our armed forces."

"It is also true that the innovation process in the aerospace industry involves high levels of risk and large investments over long periods. This process can be further accelerated through active collaboration between the industry and researchers," he asserted.
"...India has no dearth of talent. What is required is early identification and proper grooming of this talent. You should ensure that the best and brightest minds in the country join R&D in the aerospace and defence sectors," he said.

He stated that another aspect that requires the attention of policy planners is the need to involve private partners in defence projects for "fruitful" results.

"We will have to depend on strategic partnerships, technology sharing and teamwork to ensure that we build competitive products, which are comparable with the best from across the globe," Naidu added.

Praising the involvement of nearly 500 Indian companies including MSMEs with HAL in the production of 83 Tejas fighter jets, he said that the initiative would not only bring cost-effectiveness but also help in meeting the production timeline.

Naidu added that such big-ticket collaborative programs have the potential to transform the Indian aerospace manufacturing ecosystem into a vibrant Atmanirbhar self-sustaining one.

"HAL is taking a lead in this and I congratulate you all for that," he said.

The Vice President said that during this visit to the TEJAS manufacturing facility, he was elated to see the "beautiful aircraft" -- the result of years of focused hard work of scientists and engineers at ADA and HAL.

"I am confident that this state-of-the-art modern 4+ generation fighter aircraft would be a potent platform to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force," he stated.

Naidu also talked about "more potent" aircraft like the TEJAS MK-2 and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) for the Indian Air Force and Twin-Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) for the Indian Navy, being developed by ADA along with HAL.

"Important core technologies for these aircraft are being developed by DRDO laboratories and other scientific institutions throughout the country. With the development of these aircraft, by the next decade, I am confident the country would no longer have to be dependent on foreign nations to meet its fighter aircraft needs," he asserted.