Upcoming policies should give boost to space tech startups in India: Experts – Moneycontrol

Representative image

Representative image

India’s space tech startup ecosystem has been having challenges in acquiring funds. However, with the upcoming new Space Policy and the Space Activity Bill, experts on June 24 opined that things may look brighter in this regard for startups in the future.

At the National Conference on Development of Space Startup Ecosystem in India (DeSSEI) organised by the Astronomical Society of India, Lt. Gen. AK Bhatt, Director General, Indian Space Association(ISpA) said that space startups would need support from the government to sustain themselves in the long run.

“Space startups have already been receiving private capital incentives in the form of seed funding from angel investors and venture capitalists, but in order to sustain themselves, they would require active procurement from the government and support for their future development,” Bhatt said.

He hoped that the New Space Policy, followed by the Space Activity Bill would clarify issues such as the availability of testing facilities, both on the ground and in space, clarity on data use, import incentives, and technical details.

“In addition to this, I’m sure the government will also promptly enact more industry-driven initiatives like PLI incentives, GST reductions, bank loan guarantees, tax holidays, and other assistance to encourage startups in this extremely risky sector,” he added.

At the event, Pawan K Goenka, the chairman of the newly-formed Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), opined that funding will accelerate in this sector once a startup attains the unicorn status.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman S Somnath recognised that the role of non-governmental entities such as private companies, and startups were necessary to take India’s space sector further. On behalf of ISRO, he assured support to startups.

“I would like to offer this time that ISRO is looking at industries to build spacecraft which will host it for ISRO. I would like to offer this. I think we are taking such action. We want to design, and develop spacecraft which we can use for application – not to be done within ISRO. We are looking at such possibilities in the near future,” Somnath said.

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