India, the United States of America, Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have launched a joint venture in space as a part of the I2U2 group. The decision to launch a joint space venture was taken on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States of America.
The space venture aims to combine data and capabilities of the member countries to create space-based tools for policymakers, institutions and entrepreneurs and help them in their work on climate change and environmental challenges.
The I2U2 group of nations, who are collectively referred to as the West Asian Quad, are all signatories of the Artemis accords.
Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is a group of India, Australia, Japan and the United States of America to promote cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. One of the primary objectives of the Quad is to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
Artemis Accord was launched by the United States government's State Department (foreign ministry) with the American national space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on October 13, 2020, with 7 participating countries.
The Artemis Accord is a non-binding set of principles which provides for cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of celestial bodies like Earth's Moon, planet Mars and Asteroids.
Apart from the United States, the other founding members of the Artemis programme were Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. As of June 2023, there are 27 member countries.
India joined the Artemis programme as the 27th member country on June 21, 2023.
The I2U2 group consists of India, Israel, the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The I2U2 group was set up in 2021 after the meeting of the foreign ministers of these countries.
The first summit meeting of the IU2U leaders was held on July 14, 2022 in a virtual mode.
Aim of the I2U2 group
The main aim of the I2U2 is to foster and deepen private-sector collaboration in the region and other areas of the globe. The six identified areas of cooperation are water, energy, transportation, space, health and food security.
The Group aims to mobilize private sector capital and expertise to achieve a variety of goals, including modernizing infrastructure, advancing low-carbon development pathways, and improving public health.
The I2U2 has announced a $2 billion investment and technological assistance for India. It includes an agricultural initiative in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and support for a hybrid renewable energy project in Gujarat.