KOCHI: Kerala is all set to make another mark in the satellite/space technology sector by starting a ‘space park’, which will incubate and promote startups in the sector. Currently in its nascent stage, the park will be set up with the technical support of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
A top officer with the Kerala IT department said startups in space technology, like in software, are growing fast, but the space park will be the first of its kind in the country. “There’re a number of space technology startups in India, most of them based in Bengaluru. If government support is provided, they can flourish into major business establishments in the future. CM Pinarayi Vijayan had discussed starting a space park in Kerala with the ISRO and they’ve promised to provide technical support to the project,” the officer told Express.
When contacted, M Sivasankar, Secretary to Government, Electronics and IT Department, Kerala, said a lot of work has to be done to realise the project.“Hundreds of officers retire from the ISRO every year. Similarly, hundreds of graduates pass out from premier centres like Indian Institute of Space Technology. If we create a platform to tap the knowledge potential of these two groups, it can lead to a major contribution to space technology,” said Sivasankar.
According to him, it was during the meeting of the Chief Minister with top ISRO officers a few months ago that the space park idea emerged.“Both the Kerala government and ISRO have agreed to cooperate in the venture. We just started the procedure to identify the land for starting the park. The decision on its infrastructure development and functioning is yet to be decided. It would take time to complete the project,” said Sivasankar.
Already the Kerala government initiatives - Startup Village and Maker Village - are considered as a model by other states. Startup Village has already incubated over 500 startups in Kerala.Started with the India government’s support, the Maker Village is the most advanced incubation centre for hardware startups in India. These government-sponsored startup incubators are operating in Kochi.
At a glance
The space park will be set up with the technical support of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had discussed starting a space park in Kerala with the ISRO