ISRO's space incubator to nurture startups creating cutting-edge space technology

The first such space tech incubator will be set up in Agartala, followed by 5 others across India.

With an ambitious manned mission to space on the cards for ISRO in 2022, the agency expanded its agenda recently to include incubators for space technology across India.

The new ISRO-Space Technology Incubation Center (S-TIC) in Agartala was inaugurated on the 18 September 2018 at the ‘Spacetronics’ conclave. This first edition of the event brought industry leaders, policy makers, government officials and entrepreneurs in the space industry to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the industry.

The new incubator will be a consortium of minds working on developing cutting-edge technology of use to the space industry, a report in the Business Standard said.

The incubator will focus on building rockets, communication satellites and remote sensing applications of use to both ISRO as well as the global space industry given the opportunity to scale-up. It is aimed at getting students, particularly those in their final year, thinking about a start-up enterprise in space technology as an employment opportunity.

The first S-TIC will be set up in the North-Eastern region, an ISRO release said.

Chairman K Sivan said that he was excited by the "tremendous opportunity" the incubator in Agartala offers. It helps bring forth space-related innovation, accelerating the development of new technologies and contributions from talented young minds to the growing space technology industry in Indian and worldwide.

ISROs space incubator to nurture startups creating cutting-edge space technology

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, Dr. K. Sivan addressing a press conference on issues related to Department of Space, in New Delhi on August 28, 2018. Image courtesy: Department of Space

“This facility, with active support from the state government of Tripura and IESA, the Ecosystem Partner, will be a big boost for the process in every sense,” Sivan told Indian Express.

"We have put in place policies and framework to ensure that the ecosystem is favourable to more partnerships, access to funds, ease of business, networking in the domestic and international market," he added.

ISRO plans to build five more such incubators — establishing these centers six cities like Agartala that are likely accessible to ISRO centres around the country.

With the Gaganyaan mission in the agency's not-too-distant future, and work on various aspects of the mission still to complete, Sivan also spoke of an opportunity to be part of the 2022 mission to space, Indian Express said.

“You never know, may be one of the innovations developed at the Agartala centre could be flying the Gaganyaan."


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