Opening ISRO to Private Players: What does it mean for Startups?

Opening ISRO to Private Players: What does it mean for Startups? How would the liberalization of space programs and the availability of data help entrepreneurs? What would be the impact of this drastic change in policy?

Opening ISRO to Private Players: What does it mean for Startups?
Image: ISRO

Opening ISRO to Private Players: What does it mean for Startups? 

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam spoke about the policies that would facilitate the growth of private players and startups in Space Exploration and Missions by ISRO. The liberalization policy was welcomed and received well by entrepreneurs, and the world awaits further news.

The startup ecosystem thrives on innovation and ideas. It is able to leverage the best of both worlds because they have access to new technologies and also the ability to stay lean and reduce costs.

How would the liberalization of space programs and the availability of data help entrepreneurs? What would be the impact of this drastic change in policy? The liberalization of geospatial data was one of the policies introduced. While the implementation is yet to be seen, there is a lot of good faith and hope on the part of the entrepreneurs. The industry expects that this policy will help create an ecosystem of open innovation and enable the sharing of geospatial data with entrepreneurs.

India's trends must match those of other countries such as Japan, the USA, and EU members. Many businesses in these countries benefit from the free availability of satellite data as it helps build products and services at a low cost.

In the Indian context, while high-resolution data may be given to limited users, it would be possible to make 1m resolution data available extensively. Another aspect to consider in a country like India is whether the data should be a free-for-all or chargeable after a point.

Indian Remote Sensing satellites image the country more than other satellites do. While data from open sources is useful, it is limited. This data that would now be available can give industries such as agriculture, energy, and infrastructure a tremendous boost.

While at the ground level, there needs to be a dynamic conversation amongst geospatial and space industry stakeholders. It will boil down to the implementation of this strategy and the process.

Another vital issue would be the stakeholder in-charge for the implementation of this policy. The Geospatial industry has multiple stakeholders at the governmental level, and it is important that reforms brought in are passed through the correct authorities.

Many startups have already started planning their satellite launches. This network of Indian satellites will be beneficial and would also benefit the country.

Many players in the USA are in dialogue with Indian startups to purchase their data, which already shows the flourishing prospects if things go as planned.