Innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and renewable energy would be the focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Silicon Valley over the weekend where he will meet CEOs of top American companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and Tesla.
On the first day of his arrival in Silicon Valley on September 26, Modi would visit the campus of iconic Tesla where he would be welcomed by its CEO Elon Musk. Modi would have a look at some of their path breaking inventions, particularly in the renewable energy sector.
“One of the important interests in Tesla is in battery technology because it has implications on in terms of storage and renewable energy,” Indian Ambassador Arun K Singh said.
Later, Modi would have one-on-one meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Modi would also be having dinner with top CEOs of the Silicon Valley companies, considered to be pioneers in digital economy.
Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Sunder Pichai of Google, John Chamber of Cisco, Paul Jacobs executive chairman of Qualcomm and Santanu Narayan of Adobe would make presentations on digital technology.
The focus of their presentations is expected to be what digital economy means for India, what the opportunities for India US collaboration are and what plans they have for India.
Thereafter, Modi is expected to discuss his vision for policy on ‘Digital India’.
“Visiting Silicon Valley a number of times, I got a clear sense that the role and participation of Indian origin tech entrepreneurs in that area is extremely significant in terms of main stream cutting edge technology and the efforts going on there,” Singh said in response to a question.
Today more than 15 per cent of startups in Silicon Valley are attributed to Indian origin tech entrepreneurs.
“This is an additional dimension to the potential of co-operation between India and the United States,” he said.
Given his deep interest in renewable energy, the US Department of Commerce in association with the Precourt Institute of Energy of the Stanford University, has hosted an event on this topic.
It would bring on one platform thought leaders, those from industry, startups and venture capital, looking at “how do we deal with renewable energy and use it to meet India’s needs and requirements,” the Indian diplomat said.
Before the round table, Modi will meet US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
Another significant event for Modi is expected to be on startups. Noting that entrepreneurship, startups and innovation are key features of the eco system of Silicon Valley, Singh said that there is a lot of strength in India in startup and innovation space.
For this event there would be a certain number of successful startups coming from India to partner with Silicon Valley companies to discuss with them their experiences and build a eco system of innovation partnership between India and the Silicon Valley, which would be a win-win for both, he said.
Before leaving for the US, Modi had said he is “enthusiastic about” India-US Start-up Konnect, which is being coordinated by NASSCOM.
“India is emerging as a hub of start-ups in a wide range of areas and we aspire to take this further. We want the world to see our innovation capabilities in the start-up sector. At this event, a group of Indian start-ups will showcase their innovations and forge partnerships with the vibrant American start-up industry,” he had said.
On Sunday, Modi would visit Facebook to hold an online town hall with its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“We will discuss some global issues and issues relating to India, particularly on the economy and society. This is a Townhall you shouldn’t miss,” Modi had said in a statement before he left for the United States.
During his visit to the Google campus, Modi would have look at some of the inventions that Google is making in the field of health care, in the area of smart grid and how Google can help with its technological innovation help Digital India goals, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
In addition to meeting Californian Governor Jerry Brown, Modi would hold meeting with Salman Khan of the Khan Academy who has brought revolutionary changes in education system.
Khan Academy is the one of the largest academies for online courses. “It has a huge resonance to India, as we also scale up the Open University system,” said Swarup.
And before leaving the Silicon Valley, Modi would address a packed crowd of more than 18,000 people at the SAP Center in San Jose, where he would elaborate on his vision for India.
He would leave for New York the same night.