Kerala’s much awaited space tech park, for which the state government had tied up with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in March this year, would likely to be up and running by June next year. An MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the two will be signed soon, reported Financial Express.
The upcoming facility will be India’s first of its kind ‘space park’ and will incubate and promote startups in the satellite and space technology sector.
Citing sources from the Kerala CMO, the report further states that Cabinet of Kerala state government has given the green signal for the space park initiative with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the rocket science arm of the ISRO.
The state Cabinet has cleared permission to allow 3.94 acre of land in Technocity, Thiruvananthapuram, on 90-year lease.
In January 2019, data analytics startups will kick off its operations by working on data sent by ISRO satellites. This will provide an initial precursor for other upcoming startups in the space park. Notably, ISRO’s geospatial and weather-related data when explored poses a tremendous oppurtunity for startups to come up with innovative solutions so much so that startups could make millions using ISRO’s data.
In the vicinity of the upcoming space park, there’s – Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) which is located at Valiamala, Thiruvananthapuram, and presence of this makes the centre a perfect integrated ecology for space technology.
IIST is a government-aided institute and deemed university for the study and research of space science. It is an Asia’s first university to be solely dedicated to the study and research of outer space.
Space agency, ISRO, which seems to have fallen for magnetism of Indian startup ecosystem lately, is already in process of setting up startup incubation centres across the country. It recently unveiled its first space tech incubation center for startups in Tripura, a north-east state of India.
Called as ‘ISRO-Space Technology Incubation Center (S-TIC)’, IRSO is in the process of setting up six such incubation centres and the same number of research and development centres across the country over the next one year.
For one of its incubation centres, ISRO had considered Kerala too but the space agency later dropped the plan over security reasons. Later, ISRO reconsidered the idea and gave go-ahead since it already outsources manufacturing of satellites to Kerala’s knowledge city and the new common facility centre for startups was considered attractive.
Japan’s automobile major Nissan, which — in June this year — had already inked pact with Kerala for setting up its first digital innovation hub in India in Technocity, Thiruvananthapuram, is likely to be the research partner in artificial intelligence (AI) for the space park.