Industry participation is fundamental to take off India’s new space to new heights

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India’s space sector has the potential to gain a double-digit share of the $ 440 billion global space economy which is itself expected to reach the $ 1 trillion level by 2040. Opening up the sector to private participation has sparked a new wave of entrepreneurship in areas such as construction and launching of launchers and satellites, development of satellite services and ground systems, research and development and support of mission services . The 2021 3-day international space conference and exhibition on ‘Building a New Space in India’, hosted on the CII Hive virtual platform from September 13-15, 2021, focused on the growth catalysts of the Indian economy of the new space.

In this emerging scenario, the Indian National Space and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe) under the leadership of Dr Pawan Goenka, President-elect, IN-SPACEe and NC member, CII is expected to play a pioneering role in pursuing joint efforts of ISRO. and Indian industry and start-ups to take advantage of emerging business opportunities in the space sector.

While the opening of the sector has allowed several startups to enter the new space economy, experts speaking at the conference called for a range of calibrated measures, such as:

Promote downstream activities: Startups can be encouraged to exploit the greatest business opportunities existing in the downstream activities of space technology and applications.

Build collaborations to harness the potential of geospatial applications: The space economy is fueled by geospatial applications in various fields such as energy security and sustainable development, food and water security, forestry, urban development, insurance, understanding the oceans and the atmosphere, and flood warning, among others. The range of geospatial applications depends on high resolution data obtained across the world, which requires a collaborative approach (since geospatial data cannot be generated from a single location) and the promotion of industry participation private in this area.

Attract private investment in space R&D: The government has launched a number of initiatives such as science and technology clusters to attract local talent and the Ministry of Finance has pledged a fund of Rs 50 crore to support the activities of R&D in the space sector.

Space manufacturing hub: India could become a global hub for space manufacturing. There are opportunities for collaborative research in areas such as 3D printing, friction stir welding, flow forming, composite fabrication, etc.

Speed ​​up technological development: India’s new space sector needs more energy efficient systems and great computing potential needs to be added to ground stations.

Supporting Space Life Sciences: Space life sciences promise breakthroughs in the ability to live and work safely in space, treat medical conditions on earth, transform agricultural practices and ” carefully examine the ethical dimensions of explorations and spatial settlements.

A level playing field and support systems: private actors are on the verge of becoming ‘co-travelers’ in space travel with ISRO, but it is imperative to facilitate adequate funding for startups in the new space economy and to provide a level playing field for all stakeholders. The need for space laws and space insurance are among the other preconditions to promote private participation in this sector.

Stimulate domestic demand, create a robust ecosystem: it is imperative to create sustainable domestic demand for space technologies, applications and services so that startups do not depend on foreign markets for their growth. In addition, a robust domestic space ecosystem will need to be developed, linked to the global space ecosystem.

Fallout from the manned space mission: The mission will have fallout such as resource regeneration and recycling, space waste management, development of large interconnected structures in space, space agriculture, manufacturing in space , bio-astronautics, etc.

Test Subsystems: Companies importing subsystems would need to access larger subsystems where these imported subsystems can be tested and approved.

Space tourism: India could take the initiative to develop human-centered training mechanisms through several centers.

The 2021 International Space Conference and Exhibition was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Antrix Corporation, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).

September 16, 2021


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