GE set to make engines for LCA in India — Reuters; India reopens window for semicon fab proposals

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In our top news today, GE Aerospace is close to getting US approval to make military aircraft engines in India, Reuters reports exclusively. More on that in a bit, but first a few other headlines.

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, is expected to visit India and participate in an event hosted by Economic Times and sponsored Tata Consultancy Services, according to announcements that have appeared in the newspaper for the past few days.

The event, scheduled for June 7 in New Delhi, includes a conversation between Altman and Satyan Gajwani, vice chairman of Times Internet, in which the American entrepreneur and former president of Y Combinator, will “discuss the impact of AI on businesses, jobs, and society at large,” according to the announcements.

India has launched a pilot project called Electronics Repair Services Outsourcing (ERSO) with the aim of making India the global repair capital. The project, supported by the Ministry of Electronics & IT, aims to attract outsourced repair services for ICT products and generate revenue of up to $20 billion over the next five years.

The pilot, being conducted in Bengaluru, involves five companies volunteering for the initiative. The government has introduced policy and process changes to facilitate the ERSO industry and plans to assess the pilot's results for further modifications. The project aligns with India's commitment to environmental sustainability and extending the life of electronic devices.

US President Joe Biden’s administration is preparing to approve a deal that would allow General Electric (GE) to manufacture jet engines for Indian military aircraft in India, Reuters reports exclusively.

The agreement, which is expected to be announced during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States on June 22, aims to deepen military and technology ties between the two countries as a counterweight to China's influence in the region.

Currently, India relies heavily on Russia for its military supplies, Reuters notes. The deal is still in the process of being finalized and would require notification to the U.S. Congress. India is seeking to acquire the necessary technology to produce aircraft engines domestically as it plans to manufacture over 350 fighter jets for its air force and navy in the coming years.

CB Ananthakrishnan, chairman and managing director of India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, had said in February that HAL would use the GE414 engine in a second generation of the country’s light combat aircraft, named Tejas. And HAL was in talks to make the engines in India, Reuters notes.

Meanwhile, India's plans to establish semiconductor manufacturing facilities have suffered setbacks as two major projects face hurdles, Reuters reported yesterday in a separate report. A $3 billion facility by chip consortium ISMC, with Israeli chipmaker Tower as a partner, has been stalled due to Intel's ongoing takeover of Tower.

Additionally, a $19.5 billion joint venture between India's Vedanta and Taiwan's Foxconn is progressing slowly, with talks to involve European chipmaker STMicroelectronics deadlocked.

The India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) is reopening its application window for semiconductor fab proposals starting today, Mint reports. This decision comes after the initial application period in January 2022 yielded only three applicants for 28nm fabs.

The new window allows both new and existing players to submit fresh applications for various nodes. The move aims to attract more participants and enhance the country's $10 billion semiconductor manufacturing drive. Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar stated that some of the previous applicants are expected to reapply, and new investors are also encouraged to apply.

Under the modified scheme, ISMC plans to resubmit its application with increased subsidies of 50 percent (up from 30 percent earlier) and permission to manufacture at higher levels of nodes, specifically above 40nm. The $10 billion Semicon India program was launched by the government in December 2021 to boost semiconductor manufacturing in the country.

In some renewable energy news, The US Department of Energy yesterday said that eight American companies working on nuclear fusion energy will receive $46 million in taxpayer funding to pursue pilot plants. These plants aim to generate power from fusion, a process that mimics the energy source of the sun and stars.

Scientists have been striving to generate more energy from fusion reactions than what is required to heat the fuel for decades. However, over 30 companies worldwide are currently working on fusion power, which has the potential to significantly reduce emissions and avoid long-lasting radioactive waste.

The funding is part of the Energy Department's Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program, with the goal of achieving a pilot-scale demonstration of fusion within ten years. The awardees include companies such as Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Princeton Stellarators Inc, and Zap Energy Inc.

The funding covers the first 18 months of the projects, and future funding of up to $415 million will be contingent on congressional approval and meeting engineering and scientific milestones. The private fusion industry is also investing heavily, with plans to spend approximately $7 billion by the time the first fusion plants come online.

Capillary Technologies, a Bengaluru SaaS company in the loyalty management space, has secured $45 million in funding to expand globally and pursue mergers and acquisitions, TechCrunch reports. The funding round comes at a critical time for startups, which are facing a capital crunch amid a market slowdown.

Led by Avataar Ventures, the Series D round saw participation from Pantheon, 57Stars, Unigestion, Filter Capital, and Innoven Capital. Capillary Technologies, founded in 2012, offers loyalty management and customer engagement solutions. The startup has expanded its presence across multiple markets, including the US, and serves over 250 brands in 30 countries, reaching more than a billion customers annually.

 

Summary

US President Joe Biden's administration is preparing to approve a deal that would allow General Electric (GE) to manufacture jet engines for Indian military aircraft in India, Reuters reports exclusively. Meanwhile, after setbacks to two major proposed projects, The India Semiconductor Mission is reopening its application window for semiconductor fab proposals starting today, Mint reports. Also in this report, the US is funding eight pilot projects aimed at developing nuclear fusion; and Capillary Technologies has raised $45 million in fresh funding