Indian Space Commercialization Gathers Speed as Government Eyes Foreign Direct Investment Policy Changes

The Indian government’s efforts to commercialize its space sector has been picking up speed over the past two years. Outlook India spotlighted two important indicators in a recent story:

About 40 space startups and industries are in consultation with ISRO for support related to various domains of space activity such as development of satellites, launch vehicles, develop applications and provide space-based services.

India’s Foreign Direct Investment policy in the space sector is also getting revised which, the ISRO Chairman and DoS Secretary K Sivan believes, will open up huge avenues for foreign companies to invest in the country.

India’s space industry has been largely closed and government run. Changing the investment policy could bring a flood of foreign money into a range of areas, including communications and launch vehicle development.

The government has established NewSpace India Ltd. under the Department of Space to spearhead commercialization efforts. The company has been overseeing efforts to turn over the production of India’s government-built launch vehicles to private companies.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) recently signed agreements that will allow two private launch vehicle developers, Agnikul Cosmos and Skyroot Aerospace, access to the space agency’s facilities and technical expertise. Additional agreements are anticipated.

ISRO has established the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Center (IN-SPACe), whose responsibility is to facilitate cooperation between the space agency and private companies.