Startups are set to play a massive role during this technological evolution. Edward Rogers, chief knowledge officer at NASA, who has also taught in India, spoke about the entrepreneurial potential of Indian students within the space exploration sector. According to him one in each of the challenges is that the regulatory policy environment that's changing. Not precisely the regulations but incentives must be loosened because the money isn't short, neither are ideas and entrepreneurs in India. India could have a lot of opportunities in startups within the space industry if some minor changes were made to encourage them. What is more interesting about these revolutionary inventions which we deem granted, is that the groundwork for these creations derives from space-related activities.
The space industry isn't only driven by some big companies. There are hundreds and thousands of small startups, making parts, and writing software. India needs such startups who are dedicatedly working towards space exploration. Many existing space startups said that the three-month lockdown amidst the COVID19 pandemic pushed back their schedules of launching rockets and Satellites along with non-priority investments by a minimum of four to 6 months as of now. For them, the moving forward process has been tough. Even though such tough times prevail this year, the working of startups should not and in fact have not stopped. Such startups surely are not successful overnight but require tremendous dedication and will power to sustain.
VSSC Director said that startups are set to play a giant role within the production of space systems within the industry 4.0 with a crucial time for space sector opportunities by 2050 for the country. One of the key changes is the rocket industry in India. In all 35 startups have already come up within the space sector, three of them focused on designing rockers while the other 14 in designing satellites and also the rest within the drone-based application and repair sector.
Skyroot is an emerging company which has been a word in the space industry in the previous couple of years. It was founded two years ago by a team that includes rocket engineers who previously worked at the Indian Space Research Organization, including CEO and co-founder Pawan Kumar Chandana . The startup has raised $4.3 million until now, including from space and defence contractor Solar Industries. It is now currently going through the funding process again in hopes of securing another $15 million by 2021. A variety of projects have been set in line in the dream to gain advanced rocket engineering by this company.
On May 16, the Finance Minister announced a ground-breaking initiative by opening up space and atomic energy to private companies. The welcome reforms announced by him included the leveling of the playing field for private companies in the satellites, launches, and space-based services by introducing a predictable policy and regulatory environment to the private companies. This has led to the opening of doors for many space-based startups.
India as a place has great potential for building a space business as a startup. It has experienced space professionals who have been nurtured in an ecosystem that has 60 years of the space mission experience. If all the tools and opportunities are rightly used, India has a lot to give to the world in the space explorations world and will surely rocket their dreams to space!