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.

What

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Under this initiative, 28 proposals have been received from 24 private entities and are under evaluation.
  7. 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.
  8. '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.