ISRO inks MoU with Social Alpha to establish SpaceTech Innovation Network

It is India’s first dedicated platform for innovation, curation, and venture development for the burgeoning space entrepreneurial ecosystem

December 07, 2022 08:15 pm | Updated 08:15 pm IST - Bengaluru

ISRO said that the novel partnership is a significant step forward in providing further stimulus to India’s recent space reform policies.

ISRO said that the novel partnership is a significant step forward in providing further stimulus to India’s recent space reform policies. | Photo Credit: file photo

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has signed an MoU with Social Alpha, a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups, to launch SpaceTech Innovation Network (SpIN).

SpIN is India’s first dedicated platform for innovation, curation, and venture development for the burgeoning space entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The space agency said that the tie-up is a one-of-a-kind public-private collaboration for start-ups and SMEs in the space industry.

“This novel partnership is a significant step forward in providing further stimulus to India’s recent space reform policies and will work towards identifying and unleashing the market potential of the most promising space tech innovators and entrepreneurs in India,” the space agency said.

Three categories

It added that SpIN will primarily focus on facilitating space tech entrepreneurs in three distinct innovation categories: Geospatial Technologies and Downstream Applications; Enabling Technologies for Space & Mobility; and Aerospace Materials, Sensors, and Avionics.

“Space applications cut across various domains from earth to sky. Innovative technologies are expected to bring a paradigm shift in utilising the space applications to maximise the economic, social, and environmental benefits for the larger society. I wish the SPIN platform would create a level playing field for various stakeholders to collaborate and contribute to the space ecosystem in the country,” said S. Somanath, Chairman, ISRO.

Manoj Kumar, Founder, Social Alpha said, “At Social Alpha, we have stayed committed to our goal of bringing breakthrough innovations to the social sector with applications across climate, health, and livelihoods, and this partnership with ISRO will significantly strengthen our ability to create impact.”

Innovation Challenge

In line with the partnership announcement, SpIN has launched its first innovation challenge. Early-stage start-ups for developing solutions in areas of maritime and land transportation, urbanisation, mapping, and surveying, disaster management, food security, sustainable agriculture, environmental monitoring, and natural resources management, among others are encouraged to apply.

The selected start-ups and innovators will be able to access both Social Alpha’s and ISRO’s infrastructure and resources as per the prevailing guidelines.

They will be provided active hand-holding in critical areas, including access to product design, testing and validation infrastructure, intellectual property management, go-to-market strategy, and access to long-term patient capital, among other technical and business inputs. Applications are open from December 6, 2022, to February 6, 2023.

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