60 per cent of India's space budget goes to industry, says ISRO chief

With as many as 500 private firms actively participating in India's space programme, time is ripe for the industry and the ISRO to become ‘risk-sharing partners' the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan has said.

Around 60 per cent of India's space budget goes into industrial houses today, he added. “The private industry's technological and engineering capabilities and ability for mass production are strengths that ISRO leverages.”

Mr. Radhakrishnan was speaking at the inauguration of the second Bengaluru Space Expo 2010 on Wednesday. Industry has always been a key participant in ISRO's projects, whether in producing components, electronic systems for launch vehicles or building ground infrastructure, he said.

The three-day event includes an international exhibition and conference on space technologies, equipment and products, and is organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with ISRO and the Antrix Corporation.

Vikram Kirloskar, chairman of the CII's National Committee on Technology, said the confederation is eager to strengthen its role in enhancing India's space capability and to collaborate with ISRO in research and development.

Insulated from recession

The Indian space industry has been largely insulated from the recent global economic crisis and has in fact broadened its horizons considerably during the last two years, said Managing Director of Antrix Corporation K.R. Sridhara Murthi. “No other technology can address the increasing needs of middle-class consumers better than space technology,” he said.

Mohammed Abubakar, Minister of Science and Technology, Federal Republic of Nigeria, spoke.

Bengaluru Space Expo 2010 will showcase equipment, software solutions, related products and technical services in the space and related sectors. A concurrent three-day international conference ‘World Space-Biz' will deliberate on topics such as commercialisation of space, remote sensing and navigation.

The exhibitors at the Space Expo include Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Larsen & Toubro, EADS Astrium, Glonass-Russia, Dish TV, Godrej & Boyce, Brahmos and Asia Broadcast Satellite.