BENGALURU: With the recent announcement of space sector reforms, the Indian Space Research Organisation on Tuesday said necessary legislations are being put in place to ease the business environment for private players.
The space agency said it is also looking at paving the way for the insurance sector to render services in the space domain.
"We need to do some of the activities to ensure that there is no hardship, so a comprehensive space act is required, as well as the different policies should be in place, and they are in the pipeline, with the opening of the space sector," ISRO Chairman K Sivan said.
Virtually addressing the International Space Conference, he said the existing space policies on SATCOM as well as the remote sensing data policies are being amended with "greater inclusivity and transparency.
" "Also, we are going to add new policies like launch vehicle policy, space exploration policy.
We are going to cover the entire gamut of space activities through policies, also we are going to put in place the space act, which will ensure easy business for the private sector, that's our aim," he added.
The Union Cabinet on June 24 approved participation of the private sector in the entire range of space activities, including planetary exploration missions.
It had said, the newly-created Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) will provide a level playing field for private companies to use Indian space infrastructure, by hand-holding industries in space activities through encouraging policies and a friendly regulatory environment.
The 'New Space India Limited (NSIL), a PSU under the Department of Space, will endeavour to re-orient space activities from a 'supply driven' model to a "demand driven model, thereby ensuring optimum utilisation of our space assets," it had said.
Sivan further said, "we should pave the way for the insurance sector to render services in the space domain, as this is absolutely essential for satellite and launch services.
" Department of Space is also working towards creating a formal system to support space sector startups and MSMEs in taking up innovation, research, as well as product development, he said.
This programme is conceived as "Space Entrepreneurship & Enterprise Development (SEED).
" The International Space Conference on the topic 'Ushering the New Era for Indian Space Sector,' is organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with ISRO and ANTRIX.
Sivan pointed out that earlier there was no mechanism to share technical expertise or facilitate ISRO infrastructure usage by the private sector.
There was no regulatory body for private sector space activities, but now a formal mechanism has been put in place by unlocking the space sector.
"We envisage a scenario, where private sector will be a co-traveller in ISRO's space mission, and private sector will also be empowered to carry out its own space missions.
" "I'm sure that it will enable the growth of India Space Industry revenues and also in the export of products and services out of our country.
It's a very welcome change," he said.
Noting that the space industry, various stakeholders, entrepreneurs and investors are eagerly looking for new opportunities in space business, Sivan said till recently all space activities within India were carried out only by ISRO.
"We know that the global space economy is on a growth trajectory and our domestic requirements are also growing multifold," he said.
To meet these requirements it is essential that the private sector must contribute a bigger share in the national space programme and also must have its own programme catering to both national and global requirements.
This was easier said than done as the space activities require huge infrastructure investment as well as mandatory compliances to safety regulations, as the country is answerable for any safety lapses in the international forum, he added.
The chairman pointed out that the risks are huge and the return on investment happens over a long period- the main reason being that the space system development-testing and operation are highly capital intensive and requires long time and large human resource development initiative.
Sivan said very few private entities were actually involved in system development.
However, recently many are eager to take up such activities, and in fact many startups in the space sector in India are very keen to develop space systems and have already started development activities,he added.
NITI Ayog member V K Saraswat, Senior Director General Ministry of Transport, Czech Republic Vclav Kobera, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Australian Space Agency Deputy Head Anthony Murfett were among others present at the event.
Saraswat said "by 2030, the new space economy will find ways we can live sustainably beyond our planet, creating new jobs, companies and opportunities.