With startups at the centre of the strategy, the decadal vision aims to expedite the emergence of India as a dominant global space power while creating socio-economic benefits
Identifying multiple areas of intervention, IN-SPACe called for enabling access to funding for startups, creating talent pool and demand
As per the agency, India’s space economy is well-placed to reach a potential market size of $44 Bn by 2033, or nearly 8% of the global share
With an eye on giving a major impetus to the homegrown spacetech ecosystem, nodal agency IN-SPACe (Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre) has unveiled its decadal vision and strategy for the Indian space economy.
With startups right at the centre of this strategy, the document highlights how to expedite the emergence of India as a dominant global space power.
As per the agency, the decadal vision aims to establish local manufacturing capabilities and infrastructure to shore up the space economy. The document calls for encouraging and facilitating the participation of non-governmental entities, including startups, in the burgeoning sector.
“As we unveil the decadal vision for Indian space economy, we emphasise that the future of the Indian space sector is a shared endeavour. Hence, our strategy fosters an era of collaboration between all stakeholders to accelerate growth. ISRO is opening its doors wider than ever to private sector participation, so that together, we can successfully boost the space economy for a resurgent Aatmnirbhar Bharat,” said IN-SPACe chairman Pawan Goenka.
The document underlines 10 key strategic goals and capabilities to achieve the decadal vision and strategy:
- Demand Generation
- Earth Observation (EO) platform
- Communication Platform
- Navigation Platform
- Research & Development
- Creation of a talent pool
- Access to Finance
- International Synergy and Collaboration
- Policy and Regulation
The vision document aims to create a thriving space ecosystem in the country. As per the agency, the homegrown space economy is currently pegged at $8 Bn, accounting for 2% of global market share, with India well-placed to reach a potential market size of $44 Bn by 2033, or nearly 8% of the global share.
IN-SPACe aims to realise this goal by achieving eight strategic goals, six strategic and four enabling capabilities. These encompass everything from satellite communication to enabling capital for homegrown startups.
A big highlight of the vision document is that it aims to generate local demand and enable access to global markets for ‘Made in India’ space products. The agency has made no qualms about its pitch for ‘co-development and co-production’ to accelerate development of space products in the private sector. IN-SPACe has pitched for developing private sector capabilities with the space agency acting as a mentor, an enabler and a customer.
IN-SPACe has also identified multiple key areas for intervention. These include enabling access to finance, including private equity, venture capital and angel investments, for the country’s burgeoning spacetech startups. Alongside, it has also pitched for debt financing from banks and NBFCs to shore up the growing startup ecosystem.
“Create the required talent pool by building adequate training, skilling and attracting talent to create capability for growth and innovation in the space sector,” the vision document added. This, as per IN-SPACe, ought to be achieved by increasing space academic courses to build a quality talent pool and provide end-to-end knowledge in space technology.
Push For SatCom
The vision document has called on the government to assess mid and long-term demand for satellite communication in the country. As part of this, it has called for implementation of a prospective plan to facilitate the required throughput capacity and maintaining space assets for broadcast.
It has also called on the authorities to ensure there are provisions in place for future satcom demand emanating from both Indian and foreign players.
“Provide connectivity to remote areas through planned high-throughput satellites (HTS) and enabling adoption of satellite broadband services through existing global LEO/MEO constellations,” the decadal vision document said.
This comes on the same day when it was reported that ecommerce giant Amazon has become the latest entrant in India’s satellite communication race as the company is seeking a satcom licence from IN-SPACe. The ecommerce giant’s satcom arm, Project Kuiper, is said to be looking to silently apply for the global mobile personal communication by satellite services (GMPCS) licence to commence operations.
Even as IN-SPACe rolls out a red carpet for both global and local satcom players, the Indian spacetech ecosystem has been witnessing heavy growth fueled by its frugal approach and heavy emphasis on deeptech capabilities.
As per Inc42 data, more than 150 Indian spacetech startups have bagged funding in excess of $285 Mn between 2014 and 2023. With the global space market projected to reach a size of $1 Tn by 2030, Indian startups are well-placed to capitalise on the demand and build for the world out of India.