ISRO's space tech startup park in Kerala to be up and running by June 2019

Having a tech park near the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre gives ISRO more than a few advantages.

The State government of Kerala has broken ground on a new nanoscale technology park that will be built with technical assistance from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Technocity, Thiruvananthapuram.

The park will likely be up and running by June 2019 according to a Financial Express report.

Kerala's Cabinet has granted permission to allow 3.94 acres of land in Technocity, Thiruvananthapuram, on a 90-year lease, according to the report.

The new space tech industry will function primarily as a hub for manufacturing of small satellites and rocket launch equipment. It would allow access to other startups in space technology and common facilities offered by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO's rocket science division.

Fully Integrated GSLV-F08 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. Image: ISRO

A fully Integrated GSLV-F08 rocket in the Vehicle Assembly building at VSSC. Image: ISRO

ISRO was also in talks about setting up space incubators in Kerala's Knowledge City but changed those plans after concerns over security were raised. Since that deal fell through, ISRO has been actively looking to outsource rocket manufacture to an accessible partner, the Express report said.

Having a tech park near VSSC gives ISRO the advantage of having greater access and control over the rockets being built and fewer long-term transportation woes.

The startups at the tech park will also have access to resources at the Indian Institute of Science and Technology next-door for any academic support.

The integrated space technology ecosystem that this is intended to create may take a few months to set up and a few years to come together. However, data analysis startups have already been taken on to ISRO's satellite data by January 2019.

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