Isro wants industry to play partner in space business

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has called upon the country's industry to invest in space business in a big way, in order to create the much-needed dynamism in the Indian space ecosystem and thereby enable new space players in India.

Isro, on its part, will be setting up six incubation centres across the country to promote start-ups and small-to-medium sized enterprises in the space business, K Sivan, chairman of the space agency said while addressing the Bengaluru Space Expo on Thursday.
The sixth edition of the Bengaluru Space Expo (BSX-2018), with the theme, `Creating dynamism in the Indian space ecosystem’, provided a single platform for the interaction of hundreds of delegates with specialists, entrepreneurs and space industry heavyweights.
More than 700 delegates are participating in this event, being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and Antrix Corporation Limited. It is also the largest such event on Space, Satellites and Launch Vehicles in Asia.
"We (Isro) are not satisfied with the current level of participation of the Indian industry in the space business, as they have only been vendors. We want them to be our partners," the Isro chairman said.
"Isro will require a minimum of two launches each month to meet the requirements, which gives industry a huge opportunity to partner with us," he added.
India currently has 45 satellites in space, but needs at least another 59 satellites in space over three years for communication, defence and other civilian needs, he said.
The Expo, being held from 6 to 8 September, saw participation of Indian industry, space agency representatives from France, Russia, Taiwan and over 600 delegates.
As much as 85-90 per cent of a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) cost lies with the industry, Sivan said, urging the industry to step up participation.
Of the Rs10,400 crore allocated for 40 planned satellite launches, including 30 PSLVs and 10 Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicles, by Isro over three years, the industry can tap business of about Rs9,000 crore, he said.
"By 2020, we want the industry on board to produce PSLVs and Small Satellite Launch Vehicles, so that Isro can focus on the proposed human space mission by 2022," Sivan said.
The agency is setting up six incubation centres across the country to promote start-ups and small-to-medium sized enterprises in the space business.
At a time when the $330-billion global space market is looking at huge growth opportunities and newer technologies, India has a huge role to play, said Isro’s commercial arm Antrix's chairman and managing director S Rakesh.
"As a major space-faring nation, India has a larger role to play in the growth of space business, and it requires the industry to step in," said Rakesh.
The conference on space technologies, with a theme of 'creating dynamism in Indian space ecosystem' will see the participation of over 100 exhibitors, 50 speakers and 600 delegates from countries like France, Russia, US, UK, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
It will see panel discussions by industry and space experts on Indian space ecosystem and launch vehicles, opportunities for industry, space transportation and space infrastructure.