The policy allows larger participation between researchers, academician, startups, and the industry: Minister
The policy also states the roles and responsibilities of organisations like (ISRO) and other private entities
The Indian government’s push for innovation in spacetech has led to many startups driving innovations in different sub-segments such as building rockets and launchpads, enhancing satellite mapping, and more
At a time when India’s spacetech startups are growing by leaps and bounds in the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, the Union cabinet on Thursday (April 6) approved the Indian Space Policy 2023 to further boost the segment and enhance the role of startups and other private entities working in the space.
During a cabinet briefing, the Minister for State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, said, “The Indian Space Policy 2023, in brief, would offer clarity to the role of each component set up to enhance the role of the space dept to give a boost to the activities of the ISRO missions and to have a larger participation between the research, academia, startups, and the industry.”
The policy has laid down the roles and responsibilities of organisations like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and other private entities.
As one of the very initial attempts to facilitate private-sector participation in the space industry, the Centre had launched the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) in 2020, as a single-window, independent, nodal agency functioning as an autonomous agency in the Department of Space (DOS).
Meanwhile, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) was also incorporated in 2019 as a wholly-owned Government of India company to enable public-private partnerships.
The Indian government’s push for innovation in spacetech has led to many startups driving innovations in different sub-segments such as building rockets and launchpads, enhancing satellite mapping, and more.
“With these developments, today, India is a frontline nation as far as space technology is concerned,” said Singh, adding that within three years, there are almost 150 startups with ISRO.
In fact, over the last few years, India has seen a large number of startups such as Agnikul, Skyroot, Digantara, Pixxel, and SatSure, among others, emerge and receive increasing investors’ attention.
As per the government’s data released in February this year, INR 175 Cr was generated towards the export of launch services, data sales, and in-orbit support services and post-launch operations in 2021-22. Singh said that until February 8, IN-SPACe received applications from 135 non-governmental entities (NGEs) in the space sector.
“Space policy empowers IN-SPACe to become an interface platform to get clearances on things ranging from FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) to bandwidth allocation,” said Suyash Singh, the cofounder and CEO of GalaxEye Space. He added that it would now be a one-stop gateway for spactech startups and increase speed to orbit 10X.
GalaxEye Space is an early-stage startup in this segment, which is aiming to launch the world’s first multi-sensor satellite for earth observation. It also raised $3.5 Mn in a seed funding round in December 2022.
Several Indian spacetech startups have also started working on a global scale. For instance, Pixxel has bagged a five-year contract with a US defence agency for supplying technical hyperspectral imagery.
According to an EY report, India’s space economy is set to become a $600 Bn market by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 6% between 2020 and 2025.