India has the potential to have many hundreds of space entrepreneurs and the the future of India will be scripted by young Indians, said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MoS of Electronics and IT, and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the Development of Space Start-up Ecosystem in India (DeSSEI) conference in Bengaluru, Chandrasekhar said there are several technologies such as the launch vehicle technology and other allied technologies in the space ecosystem that require innovation and entrepreneurship in the coming years in the country.
The conference was organised by Astronautical Society of India (ASI) in association with ISRO, New Space India Limited (NSIL), Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) and DRDO. The minister encouraged startups and industries to make the best use of the environment created by the Union government and build on the technology base already established in the country. Asserting that it is the most critical phase now in the development of Atma Nirbhar Bharat, he motivated startups to catalyse entrepreneurship and innovation.
Chandrasekhar added that climate change and space are two intrinsically linked domains.
S. Somanath, secretary, Department of Space and the chairman, ISRO, and the president, ASI, said that India is a leading space-faring nation today, which has built its own launch vehicles, satellites and several applications. “We have built a lot of indigenous content in all of them. Now we have to find markets for what we do here and also provide opportunity for youngsters to come in and be part of the space ecosystem. We have been seeing the growth of the space startup in India and they are trying to look at problems and solutions in a different manner. At the same time, we are not trying to dictate or direct them but we have to allow free thinking and entrepreneurship among the space startups in India. We have IN-SPACe to hand hold all the startups,” he said.
Somanath said he was sure that space startups will come up with unique solutions to address the problems of the country. “It will not come just by building fantastic rockets but by creating solutions that the world can look forward to. For instance, there could be solutions that can help make the internet available to everybody, how IoT and 5G can merge with space technology and how day-to-day life of an individual can be connected to the information highway. There are a lot of complex technologies that under development around Gaganyaan as a human space flight requires a lot of development testing. On a daily basis, there is a test that is happening for the Gaganyaan project,” he said.
Pawan Kumar Goenka, chairman, IN-SPACEe, recollected the efforts undergoing at the government level to expand the participation of the private sector in space industry. He shared the priorities of the private firms in terms of financial viability and urged the startups to gear up and take on the challenge.
During a session titled “Decadal Vision and Strategy for Indian Space Sector (2022-2032)”, Victor Joseph, the associate scientific secretary at ISRO, pointed out that the space economy is growing at a fast pace and is expected to be around $800 billion by 2035 and reach $1.5 trillion by 2047. “As a space nation, we are eyeing 50 per cent share of that. We aim to make India a global space marketing hub by 2047, which will also be mark the completion of 100 years of our independence. The space policy of India is getting ready which will enable ease of doing business. The aim will be to have a single window clearance and develop norms and best practices. 90 per cent of space economy revolves around the application side,” he said.