ISRO on a mission to space start-ups
ISRO has embarked on a mission to take startups in the space sector to a higher orbit with a string of initiatives to help them realise their business potential. It is keen on formulating an exclusive space startup programme -- "Space Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development (SEED)", Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Sivan said.
- SEED is conceived as a competitive early stage encouragement programme to startups and MSMEs (Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises) keen on developing products/services in focus areas of interest to ISRO with the space agency helping them to use its facilities.
- With recent reforms opening up doors for enhanced private sector participation in the space sector, ISRO is thrilled to receive several proposals from industries and startups.
- These proposals reflect the true ambitions of young, innovative minds looking to make a mark in the space domain, added Sivan, describing startups as new-age industry partners of the space agency.
- Bengaluru--headquartered ISRO, under the Department of Space (DoS), has set up three space technology incubation centres -- at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Tiruchirappalli, Jalandhar and Agartala. Three more are in progress.
- DoS has also collaborated with Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Niti Aayog, to launch three challenges in space domain -- 'ARISE' programme as a part of Aatmanirbhar Atal New India Challenges [ANIC] for promotion of applied research and innovation in small enterprises (MSMEs-Startups).
- Under this initiative, 28 proposals have been received from 24 private entities and are under evaluation.
- Earlier this month, DoS entered into a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Skyroot Aerospace Pvt. Ltd., a private company based in Hyderabad building small satellite launch vehicles.
- 'Anand' remote sensing satellite built by Bengaluru-based start-up, Pixxel, is among the payloads to be launched by ISRO rocket PSLV-C51 on 28 February 2021.